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  1. #21
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    Default Recycling EV batteries

    There is, so far, only tsla shipping any major qty of batteries for EVs.

    And at 30 GWh/yr, 2019, the tsla production is about 1% of what global production will be in a few years, perhaps 6-8 years.
    At 30 GWh/350k cars, tsla, 2019.
    So a possible 35 M cars / yr or 30% of global 100M cars sold == 2025, would need == 3000 GWh/yr production.

    At that scale, all the battery materials will be easily recycled, and most will be very light, small, cheap due to process-industry efficiencies in truly large scale.

    Just like PV panels and costs, where they got thin, light and cheap in 10 years on 100x production volumes.
    And windmill generator costs, same, now 6MW+.
    And ac servo drives, same.
    And auto gearboxes, same.

    *Anything* made in qty millions to tens of millions, with high value unit cost or arpu, gets really cheap and really efficient, very fast, these days.

    I believe every major battery manufacturer will be zero-cobalt or near-zero, soonish, 4-6 years.
    Likewise, marginal costs will drop to around 60$/kWh within 6 years, probably on 30% better energy density around 250-300Wh/kg.

  2. #22
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    I disagree, theres plenty of other cobalt sources in the world, russia, cuba, aus etc problem is most places do to environmental regs there higher cost, so in some ways its not till demand bumps the price higher that thoes will come on stream, lots of mining operations are like that the world over. Especially with something like cobalt thats also found with other materials, you need to the collective price to be high enough to justify digging it up.

    Gotta remember most the big mining concerns are always playing a game of cat and mouse, they want to supply the least amount of there given metals to the market place at the highest possible cost. At the same time they want to keep the price point low enough competition does not run em out of town.

    When it comes to stuff like lithium batteries, they sure as hell do not want to push people into finding non cobalt technologies.

    Would not suprise me if large cobalt or lithium mining operations bought up any non lithium or non cobalt based patents like shell in the oil industry bought up the patents on NiMH batteries to stop the electric car getting any-were from the mid eighties - through to the recent lithium battery that let the car OEM's leapfrog the big oil monopoly on the battery problem.

  3. #23
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    You are somewhat right.
    Obviously, big mining companies, IF and only IF they were benefiting from cobalt mining would act to protect their cash cow.

    But the given fact is that cobalt is not mined anywhere.
    It comes as a byproduct, mostly nickel/copper, and about 90% of production comes from congo with slave labour and conflict mineral status.

    If cobalt from congo costs 20$, and cobalt from aus costs 70$, the global production of batteries will be limited by the congo cobalt production.

    E:
    The price of cobalt is not the issue, the price of copper is, because 10x more in cash is made from the copper than the cobalt at the mine.
    If cobalt prices say tripled, causing a huge hit to lion batteries ex-tsla, the congo mine would not make (much) more cobalt.
    This is why cobalt is a global gating factor, a critical path constraint.

    And it cannot be much moved by any tech. currently known, apart from low-cobalt batteries, where tsla leads.
    A 8:1:1 lion cell has half the cobalt vs a 8:2:2, currently shipping.

    The resource-scarcity stories about lithium, are nonsense.
    Or graphite.
    Both can be easily scaled at moderate costs.
    But cobalt cannot.

    About 2010-2008 polysilicon was supposed to be a gating factor for pv.
    Nonsense.
    Within one year china built, with fluor, 1M workers, a huge polysilicon plant.
    Poly prices went 20-30 to 50$ or so.
    Then down to 15$.

    Lithium nonsense stories were sold by hopeful junior miners with no mines and no sales.
    Lithium prices 10k to 25-30k spot price, again down to around 10k.


    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    I disagree, theres plenty of other cobalt sources in the world, russia, cuba, aus etc problem is most places do to environmental regs there higher cost, so in some ways its not till demand bumps the price higher that thoes will come on stream, lots of mining operations are like that the world over. Especially with something like cobalt thats also found with other materials, you need to the collective price to be high enough to justify digging it up.

    Gotta remember most the big mining concerns are always playing a game of cat and mouse, they want to supply the least amount of there given metals to the market place at the highest possible cost. At the same time they want to keep the price point low enough competition does not run em out of town.

    When it comes to stuff like lithium batteries, they sure as hell do not want to push people into finding non cobalt technologies.

    Would not suprise me if large cobalt or lithium mining operations bought up any non lithium or non cobalt based patents like shell in the oil industry bought up the patents on NiMH batteries to stop the electric car getting any-were from the mid eighties - through to the recent lithium battery that let the car OEM's leapfrog the big oil monopoly on the battery problem.

  4. #24
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    Australia has a simple strategy for dealing with toxic refining processes........mine the stuff here,ship the ore to some third world regulation free zone for processing..............this has a beneficial side effect for the multinationals of not only negating environmental problems,but also allows them the ship tax liability to a third world country ,and then on to a haven......Billion dollar profit ,pay no tax......simple .

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    I don't understand the hostility either.

    I wasn't going to reply because of that hostility but given adama contradicted himself i thought i would do a google search to see if i was right in my initial statement in post #2. sure enough i was.
    The coulombic efficiency of Li-ion improves with cycling. To prove this, Panasonic, E-one Moli, Sony, LG and Samsung Li-ion batteries in 18650 cell format where cycled. Some cells began with a coulombic efficiency of 99.1 percent and improved to 99.5 percent with 15 cycles. Some started at 99.5 percent and reached 99.9 percent with 30 cycles. The consistency on repeat tests was high, reflecting in Li-ion being a very stable battery system.

    so yes as lithium ion ages it looses capacity and the internal resistance rises, but for slow discharges you aren't losing much energy to that internal resistance because that energy loss is proportional to amps squared. so, a telsa battery for instance once it get down to 50% capacity it may not be usable in a vehicle because the pack will overheat, but those batteries may still have thousands of charge cycles left if they are cycled slowly, and that is totally appropriate for secondary use.

    for example i have a pack of old lithium ions, a brick of 18 of them, 18650, about 9ah capacity where as originally it would have been at least 3 times that. discharging them at a 9 amp rate yes they get warm, hot even. new, they would not have. but they are still very high colombic efficiency, i could measure it for what its worth if i could find it.


    anyhow the colombic efficiency of the lithium ion is intrinsic in the chemistry and its one of the reasons the battery can't self ballance. there is nowhere for the extra amps to go without damaging the internals. over discharge them and the copper gets consumed after the lithium is depleted, then when you recharge it the copper plates out wherever it feels like it and the pack could fail. i forget what happens when you overcharge them but you can google that.

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    Colombic efficiency is but one small part in the charge cycle, your not going to get 99% at automotive high charge and discharge rates. If you did Tesla would have no need to water cool there batteries like they do. If they were getting 99% efficiency that means that a 100Kwh battery bank would only have to dissipate 1Kwh of heating effect, think you will safely find there dumping a lot more than that. Charge discharge is normally considered at the C rate, ie how 1C being it takeing 1 hour to discharge the battery. A Tesla do to motor size will discharge at times under that 1C rate, a 20-30 minute 80% recharge is again well bellow a 1C charge rate. Theres nothing about slow cycling in a automotive battery bank!

    Yes lithium may improve like a lot of batteries do after the first single - low double digit cycles, its a well known quirk of most rechargeable chemistries, that does not continue into the tripple digit cycle counts and it gets rapidly worse as you approach the thousand range.

    Using thoes same batteries in a house back up battery sure, its probably nothing like as bad assuming typical house appliance loading's in the sub 3Kwh on something like a 14Kwh battery bank. But start approaching a 1C charge or discharge and your going to have heat dissipation issues on any current battery technology do to simple plain old resistance heating.

    The self balancing is not about internal resistance. Its about how lithium will happily charge and keep charging to a ever higher voltage, well above the point it starts to break its own chemistry down internally. A Nicad, is more akin to a liquid fueled petrol tank, comes a point the tank is full and your not squeezing any more in that simple. A lithium is more like a gas tank but one that can not handle enough pressure to form that gas into its liquid state or even enough pressure to give a meaningful back pressure. Because the resistance though does not change with state of charge you pretty much have to monitor and charge each cell to keep the pack balanced.

    Again when the price of cobalt gets high enough it will no longer be the byproduct and that will change things. The very fact it is a byproduct material arguably means its current price tag is misleadingly low compared to what its really worth! On the plus side as they go after a ever more valuable Cobalt the Copper price should then start to really fall down as there becomes a excess - the copper becomes the waste product. That said at current rates of progress its way more likely a different battery technology will take over.

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