Lithium-ion batteries - statistics & facts

Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable electric devices where lithium moves back and forth from the negative to the positive electrode during the discharge and charging process. Lithium-ion batteries create relatively little waste when disposed, but are subject to aging. Lithium is mined primarily in South America, Australia, and China. It is often found in silicate minerals. Chile is the country with the largest lithium reserves worldwide.

Applications

The first lithium-ion battery was commercialized by Japan’s Sony in 1991. Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras and power tools. Moreover, demand for lithium-ion batteries in the automobile industry is also expected to increase with the growing demand for electric cars. The lithium-ion battery has become the more sought-after alternative to nickel-metal batteries for electric vehicles, partially due to its lighter weight and smaller size. The power density, safety, recharge time, cost, and other aspects of its technology are expected to continue to improve. CATL, LGChem, BYD, and Samsung are among the major manufacturers of lithium-ion batteries.

Recycling and material recovery

The market for lithium-ion battery recycling is expected to grow tenfold over the next decade. It is estimated that, by 2030, it will be possible to recover over 120,000 metric tons of lithium carbonate equivalent worldwide from used Li-ion batteries, along with other raw materials such as nickel and cobalt.



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Lithium-ion batteries worldwide

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