The rapid development of the automotive industry in China's new energy (6.990, 0.02, 0.29%) has led to the rapid development of the power battery and related materials industries. With the first batch of power batteries gradually entering the retirement period, starting in 2018, China will usher in the "small peak" of power battery retired.

The "Economic Information Daily" reporter learned from the investigation that China's power battery recycling industry is still at an early stage of development, the battery recycling system is not perfect, and the technology of ladder utilization and recycling is not yet perfect, and the second-tier market for ten billions of power batteries remains to be developed. .

Some industry insiders suggested that the market for power battery recycling should be stepped up to guide the sound improvement of related technologies to cope with the processing of more and more decommissioned batteries in the future, reduce environmental pollution, and truly turn waste into treasure.

The first batch of power batteries began to retire

General power batteries will retire in 5-6 years, and commercial vehicle power batteries will be retired even in 2-3 years. From 2018 onwards, China will have a large number of power batteries to enter the retirement period. According to projections, by the end of 2020 battery scrap will usher in a real peak, and the accumulated scrap will reach 120,000-170 thousand tons.

According to the data from the Science and Technology Bureau of Hefei, Anhui Province, as far as new energy passenger cars are concerned, as of now, due to high battery replacement costs, no significant attenuation of battery capacity, and new energy vehicle positioning and other reasons, a large number of waste power batteries have not been generated. The latest promotion of new energy vehicles was actually used for nearly 7 years. It is expected that about 400 vehicles will be replaced and replaced between 2018 and 2020. With the increase in the amount of promotion in recent years, it will reach the outbreak period after 2020. In terms of new energy buses, the 30 pure electric bus batteries promoted in 2009 will be phased out and replaced at the end of 2017. It is expected that around 200 batteries of pure electric buses will be eliminated each year in 2018.

People in the industry believe that although most of the power batteries are currently lithium batteries, discarding them at will also pollutes the environment. The organic substances in the power battery are toxic and have strong carcinogenic properties. Discarding them at random may have serious consequences.

"The retiring of new energy car batteries is worthwhile, and it will not fall into the non-recovery phase." Wang Chuanfu, chairman and president of BYD (62.600, -0.20, -0.32%), introduced that the recycling and utilization of power batteries is mainly a cascade utilization and resources. Recycling. Step-by-step utilization is the transformation of the vehicle's power battery, which has reduced its capacity to less than 80%. It is used in power storage applications such as peaking and frequency adjustment, peak load shedding and wind energy storage. Recycling of resources is the recycling and utilization of nickel-cobalt-lithium resources by crushing, disassembling, and smelting power batteries that have already been scrapped.

The recycling of power batteries will form a huge emerging market. According to the calculation of China Minmetals Research Institute, the scale of power battery recycling in China will reach 10.7 billion yuan by 2020, of which the scale of cascade utilization market will be about 6.4 billion yuan, and the scale of recycling and utilization market will be 4.3 billion yuan; by 2025, the market scale will reach 379 in total. Billion yuan, of which the market size of cascade utilization is about 28.2 billion yuan, and the scale of recycling market is about 9.7 billion yuan.

According to Du Jiangling, president of the General Motors China Academy of Sciences, the base station of a broadband wireless company in China originally used a lead-acid battery. At present, it has begun to use the decommissioned power battery as a base station battery.

Kefeng Lithium (75.580, -3.77, -4.75%) is a company with both lithium extraction from ore and lithium extraction technology from salt lakes. Liu Ming, vice president of the company, introduced a new recycling technology company to specialize in the recycling of lithium batteries. Because, compared with other means, lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and other rare elements are recovered from the battery. The technology is relatively simple and the cost is lower.

According to the analysis of the industry, according to the time of entering the market, lithium iron phosphate batteries will be the main target for recycling within the next five years. The three yuan power batteries that retire in 2023 will dominate the market. Therefore, recycling of power batteries first faces the problem of recycling lithium iron phosphate batteries. The recycling value of lithium iron phosphate is very low. Currently, it can be recycled for free or even collected for a fee, but it can be used as a cascade.

"This market is far greater than the car." Shen Hui, the founder of Weimar Automobile, said that there are a lot of companies using cascades, including Tesla. "The price of Tesla has risen so fast because it is not only a car company but also a transition to an energy company. In the future, if every household uses a waste power battery to store energy, this will be the ultimate."

Urgently solved the problem of recycling and secondary use

Since 2012, relevant national ministries have begun to promulgate policies, plans, and approaches for the recovery of power batteries. However, due to cost and technical issues, current levels of power battery related parties are not optimistic about the implementation of policies. At present, the overall recovery network system of power batteries is still not perfect. No matter whether it is cascade utilization or recycling, it has not yet truly formed a scale, and there is still a large room for technological upgrading.

First, no substantive breakthrough has been made in the recycling of lithium batteries. According to the analysis of the Director of the Equipment Industry Department of the Economy and Information Committee of a province in the central province, the recycling network of the power battery is still not perfect due to the early system of recycling of ordinary consumer batteries in China. There are a few third-party recycling companies that have built their own systems. The recovery network is far from the formation of a power battery recycling system coordinated by car companies, battery companies, recycling companies, and logistics companies. At the same time, most of the waste batteries used by recycling companies come from battery factories, rather than from consumers.

The enthusiasm of vehicle manufacturers for recycling batteries is also low. Although the country identified the main body of battery recycling as a car company, it was not enforced. An industry source said that some car companies think that they are struggling to recover the battery, but also spend money on battery processing companies to deal with, too much investment. He believes that this is essentially an imbalance in the distribution of benefits among battery companies, auto companies and battery processing companies. "From the perspective of battery processing companies, is it that I spend money to buy batteries for you, or do you pay me to help you deal with batteries? These problems need to be resolved."

Second, the technical obstacles to battery recycling have yet to be broken. According to Liu Ming, vice president of Li-Ying Li, Cascade utilizes standards that ensure the safety and consistency of battery modules to achieve reuse. For example, peak shaving and frequency modulation required for power grids and user-side peak-sharing and filling of valleys require equivalent to dozens of buses. The amount of battery in the car, which requires a high degree of "consistency" for the integration of batteries, has a high technical threshold. The greatest value of using cascades is to obtain the highest performance at the lowest cost. The current technology cannot promote the use of cascades to form scale effects.

Yang Bing, deputy general manager of Anhui Wuhu Qida Power Battery System Co., Ltd. believes that although China has basically mastered the power battery recycling technology, it has the technical ability to handle various types of power batteries. However, in the process of dismantling, the complexity of different types of battery manufacturing and design processes, the type of series and parallel connections, service and use time, and the variety of vehicle models and operating conditions may affect the complexity and safety of dismantling. .

Again, battery recycling lacks both legally enforced constraints and lacks incentives for subsidies. "Economic Information Daily" reporter found that the current regulation of waste battery recycling is mainly issued by the environmental protection department and other departmental regulations and guidance documents, there is no mandatory measure to ensure that battery production companies to assume responsibility for recovery. At the same time, China has not yet started research on relevant subsidy policies. Apart from Shenzhen, major cities have no intention of giving subsidies. This makes our country's power battery recycling use of various subjects lack external stimuli.

Battery recycling industry requires active guidance

Some experts suggested that China is still on the eve of the large-scale decommissioning of power batteries. Most of the companies in the industry are in the early stage of deployment. Recycling of power batteries has not yet reached scale. Many companies have not yet realized profitability. Leading enterprises and alliances of waste power battery recycling It hasn't really shaped yet. Therefore, if you want to carry out the relevant layout, before the end of 2018 is still an ideal time window.

First of all, it must be managed through active guidance at the government level and through national mandatory standards. Sun Fengchun, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, believes that the most urgent task is to solve battery traceability problems as soon as possible. You can use the new energy vehicle supervision platform to establish a battery traceability mechanism so that the battery can be traced from the "life" to the "death", and intermediate links cannot be allowed to be lost.

Du Jiangling, president of the General Motors China Academy of Sciences, also believes that the entire life cycle of a battery must be considered as the object of management and research and should be considered comprehensively.

Xie Ping, party secretary and deputy general manager of Chengdu Dayun Automobile Group Co., Ltd. pointed out that there must be mandatory standards for battery universalization and recycling. Battery manufacturers should consider the convenience of recycling and environmental protection when designing products. In addition, the battery companies have to formulate, and recycling companies to crack the formula, the government should guide the establishment of industrial alliances, so that it can accelerate technological research, two to three years is expected to achieve a breakthrough.

Second, the state must support specialized, high-tech battery recycling companies. Sun Fengchun believes that the state must support enterprises with R&D and refining capabilities in the industry, and in particular, guide the integration of cascade utilization companies and battery companies, and guide the integration of recyclable companies with resource material companies.

The industry generally believes that the inevitable direction of the development of cascade enterprises is "energy storage", and battery companies will also take energy storage market as a battleground. With the mutual penetration and reorganization of the two types of companies, a group of leading battery companies with power batteries, battery cascade utilization and energy storage businesses will be formed in the future. Recycling companies are actively transforming materials and will form a batch of products in the future. The company is a leading battery material company with resources, recycling and materials business.

Third, the state must explore a parallel system of deposits and awards to mobilize the enthusiasm of consumers and businesses. From 2008, the European Union imposed mandatory requirements for battery manufacturers to establish a recycling system for used batteries, and made clear statutory obligations for manufacturers, importers, vendors, and consumers in the battery industry chain. At the same time, through the "depository system," consumers are encouraged to turn over used batteries. The "depository system" was also adopted by the United States. Many experts believe that China can also use the "depository system" to cultivate consumer awareness of battery recycling. In addition, the state must fully implement the “extended producer responsibility” system by establishing and improving a sound legal mechanism, and then make use of the legal force to stipulate various links and constrain all relevant subjects of the entire battery life cycle.

In addition, people in the industry believe that in addition to increasing key technologies such as dismantling, reorganization, testing, and life prediction of used lithium batteries, it is necessary to formulate power lithium recycling recycling incentives and establish reward and punishment mechanisms. For example, to punish companies that have not fulfilled their obligations under the recycling policy, and to provide subsidies or tax incentives for recycling and recycling enterprises according to the number of batteries, capacity, etc., and encourage innovation and application of business model innovation.

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