The global lithium-ion battery recycling market size is expected to advance at a CAGR of 20.45% during 2022–2030, to reach $21,184 million by 2030.
This is ascribed to the limited availability of lithium and the rapidly increasing requirement for electric vehicles because of government subsidies. Further, the increasing prices of gasoline and diesel are propelling the demand for electric vehicles, thus driving the consumption of lithium and other elements in the anode, cathode, and electrolyte of the batteries.
Moreover, Li-ion is the fastest-growing battery technology across the globe because of its extensive usage in a range of applications, from cell phones to electric vehicles. To fulfill the growing requirement for batteries, it is necessary to secure the essential materials, which remain in erratic supply.
In China, the battery demand is rapidly growing, which will simultaneously impact the market in the APAC region. The primary driving factors for this growth are the electrification of vehicles and the deployment of batteries in the electricity sector. As per the World Economic Forum, in 2021, China led the global battery production capacity with an about 75% of share, along with the U.S., Hungary, and Germany. Geographically, in the APAC region, China is the biggest battery market, with a 43% share of the total energy capacity in usage around the world. Moreover, 380,000 electric buses run in this country, compared to only 1,500 in Europe.
The lithium-ion battery recycling market is categorized into lithium–cobalt oxide (LCO), lithium–ferro phosphate (LFP), lithium–nickel–cobalt–aluminum oxide (NCA), lithium–nickel–manganese–cobalt oxide (NMC), and lithium–manganese oxide (LMO), based on battery type. Out of these, the LCO category held the largest market share in 2022, and it is expected to continue to dominate the market in the next few years. This will be due to the high energy density of LCO batteries, which makes them appropriate for portable electronic devices, such as laptops, mobile phones, and tablets.
The growing concerns over the limited availability of lithium for future applications are increasing the awareness regarding the recycling of lithium-ion batteries, particularly in APAC countries, where the automotive and electrical & electronics sectors are witnessing rapid growth. The growing investments in the electrical & electronics sector, particularly in developing countries, such as China, Brazil, and India, are expected to generate a huge demand for recycled Li-ion batteries.
Moreover, China will be the largest country recycling Li-ion batteries in 2025, followed by South Korea. Almost 20 companies in China and six in South Korea are recycling trash batteries.
Moreover, the U.S., Canada, and Japan are making concrete efforts for the recycling of batteries. Apart from copper and aluminum, other end-of-life battery materials often go to waste, which is prompting the creation of technologies that can recover these waste but critical materials as well. Li-ion battery demand is increasing in the electric vehicles market because of their high energy-to-weight ratio and lowering prices. Moreover, these energy sources are commonly used in customer electronics, such as laptops, smartphones, and electric toothbrushes. All the batteries manufactured in 2021 and 2020 are expected to reach their EOL by 2030 or before, depending on the application, thus providing lucrative prospects to recyclers.
Some of the major players operating in the market are ACCUREC Recycling GmbH, RECUPYL S.A.S., American Manganese Inc., Retriev Technologies, Li-Cycle Corp., Umicore Group, Neometals Ltd., Hunan Brunp Recycling Technology Co. Ltd., Batrec Industrie AG, and Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd.