Lithium Recycling

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by arifofo
Last updated 6 years ago

Chemical Elements

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Lithium Recycling

Lithium in Water: 2Li(s) + 2H2O(L) --> 2LiOH(aq) + H2(g)

Lithium, atomic number 3 is a highly reactive, toxic, corrosive alkali metal that requires special handling. It has the highest heat capacity of any solid element and is used as a battery in most household electronic devices

Lithium Recycling

Ari Forman

Lithium battery recycling is the process of smelting (separating metal at high temperatures), and reusing the materials of a lithium-ion battery

Lithium Recycling

28 million lithium-ion batteries were sold in Canada in 2008, and Canada recycles 4500 tonnes/year.

Properties of Lithium


The recycling of Lithium batteries prevent the contents from appearing in landfills where they are hazardous waste, while conserving natural resources through the recycling process


Many Lithium-ion batteries contain flourine, which easily bonds with Hydrogen, making Hydrofluoric Acid, HF, which is corrosive and toxic to inhale

Flammable electrolytes can cause explosions and chemical fires, which is a serious concern particularly if a plant is located in a residential area

Lithium recycling also generates millions of dollars in revenue for Canadian recycling companies, while creating numerous jobs and helping the economy

Since Lithium reacts violently with water, firefighters can not use it to put out possible fires until it is virtually finished. Lithium chemical fires can also release Sulfur Dioxide, a deadly gas when inhaled


Lithium recycling plants should be kept as they preserve resources, but they should not be located anywhere near residential areas.

The risk of toxic gases, hazardous materials and water-reactive fires are too great in a densely populated area, where damage and casualties are possible

*Make sure you are aware of any chemical plants in your area and the possible risks involved with them

To reduce the risk of damage or injury, Lithium recycling companies use concrete-covered bunkers to store batteries.

The U.N. has developed an international standard for the handling and recycling of Lithium-ion batteries


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