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Korean battery companies enter the waste battery market due to raw materials price hike |

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Seoul [South Korea], December 29 (ANI/Global Economic): As prices of raw materials for battery cells have recently increased, Korean battery manufacturers have entered the waste battery market. This is because core materials of the battery, such as nickel and cobalt, can be extracted from the waste battery. According to related industries on the 28th, Chinese companies have recently raised prices of raw materials for electric vehicle (EV) battery cells, such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel.

Lithium price reached 190.5 yuan (about 35,458 won), up 410 per cent from the average price last year. China is the largest supplier of lithium for secondary batteries, such as lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate. Along with lithium, the price of cobalt, core materials for cathode materials, also reached USD 69,000 per ton this month, up 120 per cent from a year ago. Congo accounts for about 60 per cent of global cobalt reserves, but China has dominated supply chains such as minerals and cobalt compounds.

Nickel prices also increased to USD 23,305 (about 24.09 million won), up 47 per cent from the last year. As prices of core materials increase, Korean battery manufacturers are paying attention to waste batteries that can improve cost competitiveness and reduce environmental pollution. A battery industry source said, “The number of materials extracted from waste batteries may account for 40 per cent of the number of materials supplied from mines. It can be a great alternative option in the future.”

According to SNE Research, an energy market research firm, the global EV waste battery market is expected to grow from 1.65 trillion won in 2019 to 20.2 trillion won in 2030. It is also expected to even grow to 600 billion won in 2050. Three Korean large battery companies, LG Energy Solution, SK Innovation, and Samsung SDI, are also actively entering the waste battery market.

LG Chem and its subsidiary LG Energy Solution recently invested a total of 60 billion won in ‘Li-Cycle,’ the largest battery recycling company in the US. Li-Cycle was established in 2016, and reportedly has specialized technology to extract core materials for EV batteries from waste batteries. SK Innovation newly established ‘BMR (Battery Metal Recycle)’ division to operate its new waste battery recycling business. SK Innovation developed the technology to extract lithium hydroxide from the waste batteries and is currently having 50 patents.

Based on such technology capabilities, SK Innovation is planning to complete the construction of the BMR plant next year and will start mass production with an annual capacity of 60,000 tons in 2025. An official from SK On said, “Early next year, the pilot program for recycling waste batteries will be conducted at the SK Innovation Institute of Environmental Science & Technology. The company is also planning to actually mass-produce materials by 2025.”

Samsung SDI invested in ‘PMGROW,’ a waste battery recycling company, and is also discussing cooperation with Korean waste battery recycling company SungEel Hi-Tech. (ANI/Global Economic)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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