BatteryBits
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BatteryBits

Challenges Facing the Battery Industry in Africa & Solutions

Projections of Battery Market Growth in Africa

Maximizing Battery Usage and Minimizing Waste in Africa

How can Africa contribute towards the battery revolution?

End-Of-Life Management and Battery Recycling

Recycling Lead Acid Batteries

Recycling Lithium-ion Batteries

  • There are currently no lithium-ion battery recycling facilities operating in Africa, which makes environmentally sound recycling very costly. Due to the absence of such infrastructure, batteries would need to be shipped to foreign destinations for recycling, which requires the prior informed consent procedure of the Basel Convention, with transport also posing a considerable fire hazard.
  • Shipping agencies are reluctant to transport waste lithium-ion batteries and, if they do so, request heightened fire precautions, such as embedding the cargo in sand. Hence, a container with a nominal load of 20 metric tons cannot carry more than 5 metric tons of waste batteries. While this export-for-recycling model has been tested by some players, these trials confirm that the costs far outweigh the financial value of material recovery.
  • While the recycling of cobalt-containing batteries can generate some revenue, cobalt-free battery chemistries — particularly lithium iron phosphate (LFP), the main type currently deployed in energy access applications — are generally either rejected by recyclers, or accepted only after the payment of substantial treatment fees.

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