ICBR 2017: Lithium-ion batteries will be the major choice for portable devices

22th International Congress Battery Recycling ICBR 2017 (Source: ICM)

Birrwil, Switzerland — Battery recycling specialists from all around the world will be getting together for this year’s International Congress Battery Recycling ICBR 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal. The conference is offering the opportunity to exchange news, views and ideas with experts from all areas of the battery recycling sector. The keynote speakers Carlos Martins, Nuno Lacasta, Prof. Vera Susanne Rotter and Christophe Pillot will open the congress on September 20th.

Christophe Pillot, a worldwide specialist in Lithium batteries markets, will be at the ICBR 2017, giving a summary of the rechargeable battery market and the main trends that can be expected over the coming ten years. Before the congress ICM had an opportunity to talk to Christophe Pillot. In an interview he gave a number of interesting insight

1. Mr Pillot, the powerful Lithium-ion batteries are predicted to grow strongly. How is the current demand for these batteries developing?

I will present detailed figures at the ICBR 2017, but I can say that the Lithium-ion batteries market achieves more than 90 GWh demand in 2016, that means a 25 percent average growth rate per year for the last 10 years.

2. In which areas of application is the strongest growth recorded?

The trend continues unchanged; Automotive and e-buses, mostly in China show the strongest growth. In 2016, Automotive and e-buses consume 50 percent of the LIB. Other applications are portable devices (35 percent). Then, stationary and industrial applications start to use Lithium-ion batteries and replace sometimes lead acid batteries.

3. How do battery manufacturers react to the high demand for Lithium-ion batteries? Are there any plans for new production capacities known?

Huge investments are on the way in China and Korea but also as you know in the US with Tesla and in Europe. LG and Samsung will both start Lithium-ion production in Europe in 2018.

4. The recycling of Lithium-ion batteries is only worthwhile in case of high volumes and high Lithium prices. What is the current trend for the Lithium price?

The Lithium is not the major metal issue in a Lithium-ion battery. Cost of Lithium represent less than 2 percent of the battery pack. Cobalt, Nickel or Copper are more important in LIB batteries than Lithium. Nevertheless, the Lithium price increased because most of the Lithium is consumed by the battery industry. It increase from 7 US$/kg to almost 25 US$/kg on the spot market at the beginning of 2016.

5. In a foreseeable future do you know about any technology that will replace the current Lithium-ion chemistries?

No. Lithium-ion will be the major choice for portable devices and automotive in the next 10 years. Li-Sulfur, Li-Air, fuel cells and so one will not be on the mass market before at least 10 years.

6. Do you foresee a significant development in Europe for batteries technologies in a particular field of application?

Major application in Europe will be Electric & Plug in hybrid. Then, on a longer term basis, lead acid starter batteries could be replaced by Lithium-ion in stop-start cars, micro hybrid cars, 48v batteries.

All the details on the program and the register form can be found under icm.ch.

Source: ICM AG