The Korean zinc smelter Young Poong Corp. will invest in a 2,000 tpa pyrometallurgical pilot plant for recycling of EV batteries.
The company announced on 18th May that it has recovered more than 95 per cent of metals such as nickel, cobalt and copper from waste batteries through dry melting technology (direct smelting) and more than 90 per cent of lithium by using dust collection equipment. The plan is to expand the capacity after 2023 to up to 25,000 tpa.
Young Poong Corp. recently completed a patent application for direct smelting technology and announced the details at a symposium hosted by the Korean Institute of Resources Recycling on 14th May.
The current technology for recovering metals from waste electric vehicle batteries is wet leaching technology (hydrometallurgy). Wet leaching technology breaks secondary batteries into cells. However, dry melting technology developed by Young Poong Corp. breaks them up into modules and puts them into a melting pot. Therefore, dry melting technology is appropriate for recycling batteries for big electric vehicles weighing 400 kg or more.
Dry melting technology also drastically reduces pretreatment periods and cost after use. While wet leaching technology took 10 to 15 days to make black powder by dismantling batteries, dry melting technology needs only two days to make metal powder.
Based on dry melting technology, Young Poong Corp. plans to complete a pilot plant that can handle 2,000 tons of waste batteries per year by next year and build a large plant after 2023 to secure a capacity of waste batteries from 50,000 to 100,000 electric vehicles per year.
Find out more about Young Poong Corp. here