The very first battery recycling facility in Southeast Asia officially opened in Singapore last week on Mar. 24.
Recovering precious metals
The facility was opened by e-waste recycling company TES, and is called TES B.
TES B is described as a "multi-million-dollar, state-of-art facility", and will recycle lithium batteries to recover precious metals like nickel, lithium and cobalt.
The facility will be able to recycle up to 14 tonnes a day, or the equivalent of 280,000 lithium-ion smartphone batteries, and can recycle up to 5,000 tonnes annually.
Its technology is said to have over 90 per cent recovery rate of precious metals, and yields a purity level of almost 99 per cent.
This means that the metals TES B recovers from the lithium batteries will be commercially ready for reuse and fresh battery production.
TES B is also powered sustainably — a proportion of its energy will be generated by a second-life Energy Storage System fed by rooftop solar panels.
Additionally, the recovery process is a closed loop one — the first of such facilities in the world — and environmentally friendly, as they do not release secondary contaminants like heavy metals or pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere.
Supports Singapore's move towards a circular economy.
Production of batteries is an environmentally unfriendly one, with mining of precious metals and refining them having the most negative impacts.
As TES's CEO Gary Steele adds, the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, electric vehicles and mobility devices is increasing the demand for batteries, which is facing a shortage in raw materials.
The development of TES B, thus "further cements Singapore as being at the centre of the future circular economy".
The TES B recycling facility will also contribute to Singapore's Extended Producer Responsiblity Scheme for the management of e-waste, National Environment Agency's Chief Executive Officer Luke Goh said.
The facility will help build up the capacity for the recycling of lithium-ion batteries in Singapore and allow the recovery of precious materials.
It will also support Singapore’s move towards phasing out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in favour of cleaner energy vehicles like electric ones.
"This will bring us closer to our goal of being a zero-waste nation," Goh stated.
Top photo from TES