[External] Re: 10g residential CPE

Mark Tinka mark.tinka at seacom.com
Mon Dec 28 06:20:57 UTC 2020

On 12/28/20 05:29, Brandon Martin wrote:

> Interestingly, the Lithium content is the, in theory, valuable part of 
> it. There's not actually much Li in a typical Li-Ion rechargeable 
> battery (much less than a Li metal primary cell), but my understanding 
> is that it's enough to have people interested considering that we're 
> already basically consuming the world's Lithium supply just about as 
> fast as we can economically mine and refine it.  However, that may 
> account for the apparently low recyleable content of a given battery. 
> By mass and volume, it's mostly electrodes, which are common metals, 
> and paper separator which is worthless.
> I would imagine that, as "dead" Li-Ion cells become more available and 
> demand presumably continues to rise (absent a better battery tech), 
> folks will get more serious about recycling the electrolyte.

A lot of the development of Li-Ion batteries has gone into cost 
reduction. Very little of that has been spent on recyclablity. The lack 
of regulation around this hasn't helped either.

However, there are a number of initiatives afoot that may see this 
improve in the next decade. Moreover, the theory is that the nickel, 
cobalt, manganese and lithium available in spent batteries is not unlike 
highly-enriched ore. If these metals can be recycled at scale, it lowers 
the environmental impact (less need to mine natural ores), as well 
reduce the cost of the new batteries.

It's one area to watch.

For the moment, Li-Ion batteries are not terribly clean from a 
recyclability standpoint. But as renewable storage goes, it's the least 
of all evils that has great potential to be cleaner from ongoing 


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