There's been a lot of buzz surrounding the electrification of vehicles, and more recently, airplanes. However, we've been sidestepping a critical issue: battery production. While batteries are a crucial component in reducing emissions on our roads, the production process itself isn't exactly environmentally friendly. It's essential to acknowledge that battery production accounts for approximately 40% to 60% of the total production, according to research from McKinsey. Moreover, the environmental impact doesn't begin at the manufacturing site, as battery production relies on materials like cobalt, lithium, and graphite, which emit significant greenhouse gases.
While the above discussion is pertinent and thought-provoking, it leaves us with a pressing question: what is the next step? Battery recycling emerges as a potential game-changer in reducing our carbon footprint. It comes with additional advantages such as:
Reduced reliance on carbon-intensive mining regions.
Decreased demand for raw materials.
This underscores why the announcement from BASF regarding the construction of a battery recycling plant in North America is such welcome news. This facility will complement the one established in Europe, which was announced in June 2022.
The value chain plays a pivotal role in emissions reduction, and this decision underscores the necessity of transitioning to a circular economy that extends beyond the consumption of raw materials, favoring the use of recycled materials instead.
You can access the BASF press release by following this link: https://www.basf.com/global/en/media/news-releases/2023/09/p-23-292.html