The Europe Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market Size is predicted to be valued at $3,015.50 million by 2031, surging from $456.20 million in 2021, at a noteworthy CAGR of 19.3%.
Impact Analysis of COVID-19 on the Europe Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to severe disruptions that have affected the demand, supply, import-export, and availability of European lithium-ion battery recycling across end-use industries. The pandemic brought lithium-ion battery recycling, a significant opportunity for global economic recovery. The pandemic led to disruptions in supply chains, a decline in demand for electric vehicles (EVs), and a reduction in investments in the EV industry, all of which have affected the lithium-ion battery recycling market. The decline in demand for EVs has reduced the supply of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries that are available for recycling. This has resulted in lower volumes of recycled batteries and reduced revenues for recycling companies.
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Furthermore, the pandemic has caused a slowdown in the construction of recycling plants and the development of new technologies for lithium-ion battery recycling. This is because the pandemic has led to delays in project approvals, construction and commissioning of new facilities, and the reduced availability of funding. However, the pandemic has also highlighted the importance of sustainable and circular economies, which has renewed interest in battery recycling. Governments and companies are placing more emphasis on reducing waste and recycling materials to create a more sustainable future.
However, several initiatives launched by the German government are helping society. For instance, on September 9, 2022, Fortum had launched Fortum Batterie Recycling GmbH in Germany to provide safe and sustainable electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling in central Europe in the hope of bridging the raw materials gap the automotive industry was facing.
Europe Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market Analysis
The growing popularity of electric vehicles increases the number of used lithium-ion batteries because the consumer electronics demand and requirements have continued to rise at an accelerating rate. Around 1,000GWh lithium-ion batteries will be used in the EU market by 2030, owing to their increasing utilization in EVs and stationary storage. Due to the increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries in EVs, the industry has been advised to raise the recycling capacity for Lithium-ion batteries and thus, deliver enough supply of secondary raw materials such as cobalt, lithium, and nickel. Due to a limited lifespan of 10-15 years, lithium-ion batteries that are presently employed in EVs are anticipated to attain their end-of-life (EoL) and will have to be properly handled. These are the major factors anticipated to boost the Europe lithium-ion battery recycling market share during the analysis timeframe.
Despite the great market potential for recycling lithium-ion batteries in Europe, numerous significant obstacles are anticipated to prevent the sector from expanding. One of the major challenges is the lack of comprehensive and efficient recycling infrastructure in Europe. Furthermore, there are some recycling facilities in Europe, but they are often small and scattered which make it difficult to handle the large volumes of lithium-ion batteries that are expected to be generated in the coming years. As a result, batteries must first undergo a difficult and labor-intensive disassembly process before being recycled. Additionally, a lack of knowledge on the makeup of Li-ion batteries hinders the Europe lithium-ion battery recycling market growth.
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Li-ion battery recycling needs a complete transformation, and numerous European companies, and organizations are continuously engaging in R&D activities to develop a competitive edge in this high-potential sector. There have been increasing alliances in Europe to expand the knowledge about battery recycling as well as to create a competitive edge in the global battery recycling business.
For instance, The European Battery Alliance (EBA) was established in 2017 by the European Commission, EU countries, industry players, and the scientific community. This alliance includes around 700 members from the batteries industry. The goal of this alliance is to develop a competitive European battery industry. In 2020, ECO2LIB, an EU-funded project was launched. The objective of this project is to produce and recycle ecologically and economically feasible lithium-ion batteries.
Europe Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market, Segmentation
The Europe lithium-ion battery recycling market is segmented based on battery chemistry, source, recycling process, end-user, application, and region.
The battery chemistry segment is further classified into lithium-iron phosphate, lithium-manganese oxide, lithium-nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxide, lithium-nickel-manganese cobalt, and lithium-titanate oxide. Among these, the lithium-manganese oxide sub-segment accounted a dominant market share in 2021. Lithium manganese oxide is generally easily available in good volumes. Lithium-manganese oxide (LMO) batteries are widely used in electric vehicles (EVs) and other energy storage systems due to their high energy density, safety, and long cycle life. As the market for EVs continues to grow, so does the demand for LMO batteries. Also, LMO batteries are one of the most recyclable types of lithium-ion batteries. The materials used in LMO batteries, such as manganese and lithium, are valuable and can be easily recovered through recycling. This makes LMO batteries an attractive option for recycling companies looking to extract valuable materials from used batteries. The combination of increasing demand for LMO batteries, their recyclability, regulatory support, and sustainability concerns are driving the growth of the LMO segment in the European lithium-ion battery recycling market.
The source segment is further classified into electric vehicles, electronics, power tools, and others. Among these, the electronics sub-segment accounted a dominant market share in 2021. The increasing use of portable electronics is a key factor in the acceptance of lithium-ion batteries in residential sector. Lithium-polymer batteries, lithium-cobalt batteries, and other battery chemistries would be important in the future of electronics segment owing to growth in dependence on highly efficient power sources in smart phones, laptops, digital cameras, and other electronics devices. In addition, advantages associated with lithium-ion batteries, such as their high energy density, low self-discharge, easy maintenance, and others, are expected to accelerate the Europe lithium-ion battery recycling market size during the forecast period.
The recycling process segment is further classified into hydrometallurgical process, physical/mechanical process, and pyrometallurgy process. Among these, the physical/mechanical process sub-segment is anticipated to show the fastest growth during the forecast. The increased production of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) as a result of the introduction of stationary and portable energy-storage devices, as well as electric mobility, necessitates an efficient and sustainable waste management scheme. In general, material transformation from end-of-life (EOL) LIBs to secondary (raw) materials follows the waste recycling chain. The goal of processing is to break up the bonds between the individual components and materials of the battery in order to enrich them into defined concentrates for subsequent metallurgical refining. Mechanical processes, in general, are more energy-efficient and cost-effective than thermal, chemical, and metallurgical processes. As a result, several crushing, size classification, and sorting steps are commonly used to prepare concentrates for further processing.
The end-user segment is further classified into automotive and non-automotive. Among these, the automotive sub-segment is anticipated to show the fastest growth during the forecast period. The lithium-ion battery is currently the preferred choice for electric car makers due to its high energy density, low self-discharge rate, and wide range of battery variations available on the market. As a result, lithium prices have been steadily growing in recent years, alongside industrial output and mineral exploration. Additionally, the automotive industry is about to undergo a profound change as a result of the electric vehicle revolution, which is being driven by the necessity to decarbonize personal transportation in order to meet global targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality in urban centers.
The application segment is further classified into industrial and residential applications. Among these, the residential sub-segment is anticipated to show the fastest growth during the forecast. The lithium-ion battery is used as a power source in many devices used daily, including laptops, cell phones, power equipment, and even vehicles. The significance of dependable portable electricity is enormous and continually increasing as technology develops with a focus on speed, big data, and mobility. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are becoming more and more common in residential usage as a power source for certain equipment. Lithium-ion batteries are widely used because of their properties such as low maintenance, longevity, charging speed, safety, and convenience of charging.
The Europe lithium-ion battery recycling market in Slovenia is projected to show the fastest growth. In Europe, every single car is manufactured using at least one component coming from Slovenia. This includes all types of brands, from the most prominent ones like Rolls Royce, Bugatti, and Ferrari to the most well-known ones like Volkswagen. Twenty percent of all Slovenian exports are made up of the automobile sector, which also accounts for 10% of the GDP and 25% of the top innovations as determined by national selections. The words “to connect” and “to cooperate” are the finest ways to sum up this extensive and adaptable network of Slovenian automotive suppliers’ business philosophy.
Key Players in the Europe Lithium-ion Battery Recycling Market
Some of the leading Europe lithium-ion battery recycling market players are
· Accurec Recycling GmbH
· Volkswagen Group
· BASF SE
· REDUX Recycling GmbH
· Saft Groupe SA
· Stena Recycling
In December 2022, ACCUREC-Recycling was one of Europe’s top enterprises in the recycling of rechargeable batteries. The company developed its process technology at its Krefeld site to incorporate a recovery unit for lithium from rechargeable products and electromobility in early 2023. The plant was the first of its kind in Europe, with an initial throughput of 4,000 tons of waste batteries.
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