Recycling EV Batteries: Improving the Sustainability of Mineral Acquirement

As the number of electric vehicles on the streets has increased over the past few years, it may seem that we are reducing pollution and preventing further climate change. However, the switch from gas-fueled cars to EVs alone will not solve our issues with pollution. There are still other steps we must take to reduce our carbon footprints further.

In 2022, electric cars made up 14 percent of new sales globally, according to the International Energy Agency. At the “UN Climate Change Conference” in 2022, the “Accelerating to Zero Coalition” pledged that by 2035, all new vans and cars in leading markets would be zero-emission and by 2040, this would be done globally. However, depending on electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions may not be enough to prevent a disastrous two-degree rise in global temperatures.

To capture the advantages of EVs, the electricity that powers them and the process of manufacturing them should also be as environmentally friendly as possible. One key issue with expanding the production of electric vehicles is the higher demand for minerals such as lithium, manganese, and cobalt which are key ingredients in batteries. Extracting these minerals from the Earth creates serious environmental problems.

Fortunately, we can reduce the need for mining by changing the way that lithium-ion batteries used in EVs are recycled. Gisele Azimi, a professor of chemical engineering, and her team at U of T Engineering’s Laboratory for Strategic Materials have come up with a new and more sustainable method of extracting minerals such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese from lithium-ion batteries, reducing the demand for mining.

The Anorra Towers and Turbines are an excellent way for rural homeowners, cottage owners, and tiny homeowners to ensure that their EVs and home appliances are powered by clean renewable energy.