SK Ecoplant, a subsidiary of South Korea’s SK Group, has recently announced the development of four groundbreaking recycling technologies for electric vehicle (EV) batteries. These innovative solutions not only enhance recovery rates but also expedite the materials recovery process.
One of the newly developed technologies focuses on improving the effectiveness of solvents used in the separation and recovery of minerals like nickel and cobalt from waste batteries. Through this advancement, SK Ecoplant has achieved an impressive recovery rate of 97%, the highest in the industry using solvent extraction methods. Additionally, the purity of extracted materials has reached an outstanding 99.9%. To further contribute to the circular economy, the company can produce lithium hydroxide from these used batteries, making it suitable for recycling in the production of new EV batteries.
Collaborating with the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, SK Ecoplant successfully developed this technology. Furthermore, in partnership with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, the company has also created a solution that significantly accelerates the discharge of waste batteries. Instead of the previous timeframe of up to 24 hours, the complete discharge and subsequent disassembly can now be completed in less than an hour.
An official from SK Ecoplant stated, “By implementing our new solvent extraction technology, we can reduce operating costs and facility investment costs for battery recycling.” The company has already filed patents for these innovative technologies and plans to construct a pilot plant in the near future. Once feasibility studies are completed, the technology will be incorporated into their battery recycling plant in Gyeongju, with an expected completion date of 2025.
Q: What company developed the new recycling technologies for EV batteries?
A: SK Ecoplant, a subsidiary of SK Group, developed the technologies.
Q: What is the recovery rate of nickel and cobalt achieved using solvent extraction methods?
A: The recovery rate of nickel and cobalt is a remarkable 97%, the highest in the industry.
Q: Can SK Ecoplant produce lithium hydroxide from used batteries?
A: Yes, the company can produce lithium hydroxide, which can be recycled for new EV battery production.
Q: How long does it take for waste batteries to be completely discharged and disassembled using the new technology?
A: The complete discharge and disassembly can be accomplished in less than an hour, a significant improvement compared to the previous timeframe of up to 24 hours.
Q: What are the future plans of SK Ecoplant regarding these technologies?
A: SK Ecoplant intends to build a pilot plant and, upon successful feasibility studies, implement the technologies in its battery recycling plant in Gyeongju by 2025.