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Product scrap deadline is approaching how to look at battery recovery "blue ocean"
Since this year, with the publication of the third batch of catalogues, the new energy vehicle production and marketing boom situation has gradually recovered, but the problem of waste power battery recycling has not been well solved. It is estimated that more than 200,000 tons of power batteries will be scrapped by 2020, but the recovery market created by recovering cobalt, nickel, manganese, lithium, iron and aluminum from spent power lithium batteries will exceed 10 billion yuan, creating a new profit market.
At the end of January this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Science and Technology jointly issued the "Guiding Opinions on Accelerating the Development of Renewable Resources Industry", which mentioned that the recycling and utilization of new energy power batteries should be included in the major pilot demonstration projects, focusing on the agglomeration areas of the development of new energy vehicles such as the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta, Beijing, Tianjin and Domain, select several cities as a demonstration point of new energy vehicle power battery recycling.
It is understood that this is also a pilot work carried out by the state for power battery recycling. The guidelines also mention that the power battery recycling needs to establish a traceability management system through the Internet of Things, large data and other information means, to support the establishment of a universal and economic recycling model, to carry out cascade utilization and reuse technology research, product development and demonstration applications.
Despite the clear policy orientation and the active participation of enterprises, the recycling system of power batteries has not been well established. Research data show that in 2016, less than 10,000 tons of power batteries have actually been disassembled and recycled, and more than 80% of the spent batteries remain in the hands of automobile manufacturers. Industry insiders analysis, this is due to the power battery recycling technical rules and the corresponding economic problems have not been solved, resulting in the power battery recycling progress is rather slow.
At present, the recycling process of power lithium batteries is mainly as follows: power battery manufacturers use the perfect sales network of electric vehicle manufacturers to recycle waste batteries by reverse logistics. Consumers return discarded batteries to nearby new energy vehicle sales service outlets. According to the cooperation agreement between battery manufacturers and new energy vehicle manufacturers, new energy vehicle manufacturers transfer the discarded batteries to battery manufacturers at the agreed price, and then the battery manufacturers specialize in recycling.
Usually, the recycling of spent power batteries can be divided into two directions: first, step-by-step utilization, mainly for batteries with reduced capacity (below 80%) and no power for electric vehicles. The battery itself is not scrapped, it can still be used in other ways, such as for power storage, followed by disassembly and recycling, for those batteries that are too old to continue to use, after disassembly, recycling valuable renewable resources.
Under the multiple impetus of policy, interest and responsibility, more and more enterprises have begun to recycle the layout of power batteries. In addition to Shenzhen Greenmei, Ganfeng Lithium Industry, and other professional power battery recovery companies, including BYD, Waterma, Guoxuan Technologies, CATL, AVIC Lithium Power, Bike and other power battery companies, have launched a positive market layout in the field of power battery recovery.
As a new energy vehicle company in China, BYD has established a comprehensive power battery recovery system. Usually, BYD will entrust authorized dealers to recycle waste power batteries. When a customer requests replacement or scrap vehicles need to recycle power batteries, dealers will take the used power batteries from the car body, centralized transport to BYD Baolong factory for preliminary testing.
If used batteries can continue to be used, Baolong will further test them, and these batteries will continue to be used in the future in areas such as home energy storage or base station backup power. If the batteries can't be reused, BYD will ship them to the relevant department of Huizhou Material Factory and then dismantle them for recycling. Not only is the process sound, but also the efficiency of recovery is very high.
By declaring and undertaking the construction and demonstration project of Shenzhen's large-capacity energy storage power station, Waterma explored two schemes of recycling and grading of decommissioned power batteries. The battery decomposes materials to avoid pollution to the environment.
In the recovery process of lithium batteries, Waterma realizes the "directional cycle" from waste batteries to battery materials by means of the original "directional cycle" model and "reverse product positioning design" technology, adjusting the proportion of multi-elements with formula reduction technology, supplemented by thermodynamic and dynamic PH value control of the synthetic solution. The organic integration of batteries from manufacturing, consumption to recycling is carried out.
In addition to this power battery enterprise-led recycling, there are also enterprises to establish a professional battery recycling platform. For example, bang Pu Group invested 1 billion 200 million yuan in Hunan, Changsha and Ningxiang to set up a professional battery recycling plant. According to Yu Haijun, vice president and general manager of Automotive Recycling Division of Bonp Group, the plant will be built and put into operation, Bonp will form an annual recycling capacity of more than 100,000 tons of used power batteries.
Yu believes that most vehicle and battery plants have three problems in the recycling field: first, they do not have the experience and professional capacity of battery recycling; secondly, they do not have the professional technical equipment for battery recycling; and the recycling field is only a small profit industry compared with the automobile and battery industries. Therefore, most vehicle battery companies will choose to cooperate with third-party professional recycling agencies such as Bonp to recycle used batteries professionally.
Despite the good market prospects, there are not many companies involved in battery recycling business, and the companies involved in the process are more out of responsibility considerations, the real profitability of few. In short, the economic benefits of the current recycled retired batteries are not obvious, which is mainly due to the current small market capacity of the retired batteries, and the cost of the battery recycling process is too high.
"Waste batteries recycling technology is complex, the process is relatively long, and there is no mature set of equipment available in the industry. Bonp's key equipment in front-end physical treatment and back-end chemistry is independently developed and designed by Bonp. It is also developed with the Academy of Sciences in technical cooperation in water process control, forming its own distinctive features in the equipment. Yu Haijun said that the battery recycling enterprises in the early stage of investment in equipment and technology will also be very large.
At the same time, battery recycling technology, whether physical technology, chemical technology or back-end synthesis technology, need to be constantly optimized and upgraded. The traditional wet smelting and manual dismantling technology can not solve the environmental protection and safety problems caused by the complex structure of power battery. In addition, there is still no convenient and effective method to judge the residual rate of the battery, whether the battery is used or disassembled.
At the "two sessions" held in March this year, Zhang Tianren, chairman of Tianneng Group, deputy to the NPC, pointed out that "key technical problems such as dismantling, recombination, testing and life prediction of spent lithium batteries need to be tackled to improve the technical maturity and safety of production process, as well as the level of automation and recovery efficiency, so as to make power lithium batteries more efficient. Recycling is economically feasible and safe.
In addition to the lack of equipment and technology, the current market volume is also limited by the profit of battery recycling crux. Usually new energy vehicles need to face the problem of replacing batteries in about five years. For high-frequency vehicles such as taxis and buses, the demand for replacing power may be reduced to three years. However, China's new energy vehicle market erupted centrally in 2015, so the large-scale power change wave is expected to wait until 2018.
In addition, the main responsibility of battery recovery is not clear. Although last year the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Development and Reform Commission jointly issued the "Electric Vehicle Power Storage Battery Recycling Technology Policy", for the first time clear the main responsibility. It can be understood as: who produces who is responsible, who pollutes and who governs. However, it also means that power manufacturers and automobile manufacturers have an indelible responsibility in the power battery recycling problem.
For power battery companies, they believe that power batteries have been sold to automobile companies, so the cost of recovery should be responsible for the automobile companies. However, car companies believe that the battery is power battery production, car companies are just using, even if the recovery of both sides should share the cost. However, in the current power battery recycling early investment, immature technology, battery companies and new energy vehicle companies are reluctant to assume the responsibility of battery recycling.
Therefore, many car companies said that the decommissioning power battery will be handed over to the third party recycling agencies. They have the advantage and experience of technology and can be regarded as a good place to deal with decommissioning batteries. It is understood that there are only a few enterprises with the qualifications of recycling and utilization on the market, and because of the different products of each power battery enterprise, there is not yet an effective testing method for all power batteries, which brings a certain degree of difficulty to the testing process.
For the power battery industry, although the recycling project has many complexities, short-term profitability is difficult. But as more and more batteries are about to retire, battery recovery will also form a 10 billion tier market. Advanced layout of power battery recovery, not only to extend the battery life, but also to create new profit growth poles for enterprises. There is no denying that the recovery of power battery in 2017 will usher in a rapid growth period.