Following a successful proof-of-concept to recycle spent lithium-ion batteries using reagent extracted from fruit peel waste, NTU Singapore is partnering Se-cure Waste Management, a Singapore battery recycling and processing company, to scale up the technology in a pilot plant.
The pilot battery recycling plant has the capacity to process up to 2,000 litres of spent shredded battery mixed with fruit peel derived solvents for extraction of electrode materials such as cobalt, lithium, nickel, and manganese.
The scientists from the NTU Singapore-CEA Alliance for Research in Circular Economy (SCARCE), who developed the technology of using fruit peel waste to tackle battery waste, is also looking at using other types of biomass waste.
Currently, less than 5 per cent of spent lithium-ion batteries are recycled globally and the volume of these spent batteries is projected to reach 11 million tonnes by 2030. Such technology could meet the urgent need for a recycling solution that is environmentally benign and can be easily scaled up, said the scientists from SCARCE.
Located at Neythal Road off Pioneer Road North, the pilot plant has been operational since the last quarter of 2022. Over the course of this year, the NTU and SWM team will work to optimise processes that maximise the extraction yield of valuable metals from battery waste for reuse at pre-commercial scale.
They will also evaluate the plant’s technical performance and economic viability with the goal of commercialising the technology.