Yet Another Lithium Recycler Startup Joins Crowded Field

April 11, 2022

Ascend Elements is yet another Lithium ( and more!) recycler jumping into a very active space.

Don’t assume that the battery tech of 2020 will not be vastly improved by 2025.
I love these reports from CNBC’s Diana Olick, and I love the look on her face when her old-fart colleague starts asking if these new-fangled Electric cars are all that clean – just before she sets him straight.

3 Responses to “Yet Another Lithium Recycler Startup Joins Crowded Field”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    I hope more presenters, when talking about recycling battery materials, would more often interject that fossil fuels* are use-once materials.
    ____________
    *Yes, some percentage of crude oil becomes some form of plastics, of which less than 9% are recycled worldwide.

    • sailrick Says:

      Exactly. Lots of hand ringing about lithium mining for EVs

      4.2 BILLION TONS of Oil are extracted every year
      compared with 80,000 tons of lithium
      So, about 50,000 times as many tons of oil extracted as tons of lithium mined

      8 Billion tons of Coal are mined every year
      or 100,000 times the tons of lithium mined

      But the oil and coal are all used up this year, right away
      The Lithium ion batteries in EVs last 10 years
      So now it’s 500,000 times as much oil and 1,000,000 times as much coal, over a ten year period

  2. J4Zonian Says:

    A couple of points:

    It’s clear that the materials, the battery, and the EV are all much less carbon-intensive with material recycling, but the way it’s said leaves it unclear which it is that’s 90-93% better. That’s a huge difference; I’m curious which it is.

    Coal mining and oil drilling are increasing, but lithium use is increasing much faster, so the ratio mentioned won’t hold. It’s likely to decrease to “only” 500-10,000 times more than lithium extraction for a while, then go up a lot as lithium use levels off and recycling is able to meet most or even almost all demand. How soon this happens depends on whether, when, and how much other materials—many of them much cheaper, more common, and more ecologically obtained, processed, and disposed of—take over for lithium. (There’s also pumped hydro, and maybe other methods of energy storage.)


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