INNOVATION POLICY AND INNOVATION MANAGEMENT
In recent years, much attention has been paid to the recycling of Li-ion batteries (LIBs) [1, 2]. However, there are only few economic assessments on the recycling of LIBs even if, by 2030, it is possible to reach 2 million tons of spent LIBs/year worldwide [3, 4]. In this context, the present work aims to present a viable business model that is feasible and economically efficient and can be framed in a circular economic recycling technology of spent LIBs. The proposed business model uses literature data on the hydrometallurgical processing (HP) of spent LIBs. The business plan contains estimates of costs and revenues, and, also, estimates or projections concerning the state of the relevant markets and industries for the products resulting from spent LIBs.
Our work proposes a feasible and sustainable circular economy solution able to deliver critical materials such as cobalt, lithium, nickel, and copper for the supply chain of the LIBs manufacturing. From our estimate, valorising all recovered materials, the annual profit can reach around 600,000 $ for a commercial recycling plant that processes 125 tons/year of spent LIBs.