Urban Mining Creates A More Sustainable Automotive Battery Supply Chain

Urban Mining Creates A More Sustainable Automotive Battery Supply Chain

Dorothea “Thea” Soule joined Ecobat in October 2020 as Chief Commercial Officer Thea has 15 years of experience in the commodities sector focused on investments and divestments, risk management, capital structure and allocations, process improvement, and supply chain system implementation.

Prior to Ecobat, she led commercial, procurement, and cane origination teams at Biosev, a Louis Dreyfus Company, from 2014 to 2020. Her role focused on driving sales and purchasing strategies, creating arbitrage opportunities, and implementing price risk management practices. Prior to her work at Biosev, she was head of the commercial desk at Adecoagro, a sugar, ethanol, and electric energy producer in Brazil. She has a B.S. in Neuroscience from Lafayette College and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

Pressing environmental concerns cannot be ignored. That’s one of the key motivating thoughts behind “urban mining,” the action of extracting and reclaiming elements from products and waste and putting them back to use. Urban mining reduces our dependence on mining virgin materials and enforces a responsibly recycling process to collect valuable commodities. A key example of urban mining is battery recycling, which is vital to achieving a sustainable automotive supply chain.

Lithium-ion batteries are key components of passenger EVs, and the fleet of EVs on the road is expected to hit 77 million by 2025 and 229 million by 2030. In addition to EVs, the use of lithium-ion batteries in stationary storage and other applications leads to an urgency in expected to hit 77 million by 2025 and 229 million by 2030. In addition to EVs, 

the use of lithium-ion batteries in stationary storage and other applications leads to an urgency in less harm on local ecosystems, lower risk profiles for supply chains, and reduced exposure to market price volatility.

Lead batteries are an impressive recycling success story. Lead battery recycling offers over 99 percent of material recovery, the highest rate out of any other consumer product, and a new lead battery consists of over 80 percent recycled lead. As we see a rise in the adoption of EVs powered by lithium[1]ion batteries, there is an opportunity to apply what we have learned from lead battery recycling to lithium-ion battery recycling. That’s exactly what Ecobat, the world’s leading battery recycler, is doing today. We are working to make the business of batteries safer and more sustainable for a more circular energy economy.

"As we see a rise in the adoption of EVs powered by lithium-ion batteries, there is an opportunity to apply what we have learned from lead battery recycling to lithium-ion battery recycling"

In my experience, I've seen that the overall performance of recycled materials, and mixtures of recycled and virgin materials, can perform just as well as virgin materials themselves, and with lower carbon footprints. Further, keeping used but sufficient batteries in service longer reduces the need to manufacture new batteries, again reducing the demand for virgin materials. Urban mining is the path forward for EV battery recycling ad allow significant energy, time and cost savings.

By working with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and battery companies, Ecobat helps ensure any battery, anywhere, can go back to work instead of going into a landfill. We’ve seen the power in urban mining and are proud to set an example in establishing long-term partnerships that support material recovery. The time is now to maximize resources and foster the transition toward a low-carbon global economy.

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