cheeRS wrote: ↑
Thu Jul 07, 2022 7:15 pm
Quantum wrote: ↑
Thu Jul 07, 2022 2:40 pm
chrisc90 wrote: ↑
Thu Jul 07, 2022 11:24 am
Once the battery is removed it can’t be recycled so has to go to waste.
Not quite true, newer techniques of recycling are being tested with higher degrees of efficiency. The problem isn't we cannot, it is that we can at a cost that's higher than just disposing of it.
In that case, nuclear is completely 100% recyclable; it's just that it costs less to just dispose of it rather than recycle it into a volcano to be re-mined at a much later date.
Well, yes, recyclability is in any case a cost aspect - anything is recyclable if you are willing to pay. (Nuclear is perhaps the exception there in that it really takes great lengths to recycle)
And lack of recyclability is not really an issue, unless you end up with a waste stream that is toxic/threatening to nature or anything like that (e.g. plastics, CO2), or if there is a lack of sufficiently accessible raw material (but in that case, if the material is valuable enough, people are willing to pay the price for recycling once accessible greenfield sources run out. Problem may be that accessing the greenfield sources that are there comes with environmental damages, though).
In terms of lithium batteries, lack of recyclability is not an enormous issue (yet) in that respect - contrary to plastics, discarded li-ion car batteries don't tend to end up littering the roadside as much. Mining of fresh Lithium is somewhat of an issue - but there are a lot of developments regarding re-use, and it may just be a matter of what we are willing to pay for that, too. If mining damages are properly factored in to costs, recycling may be a lot more attractive.
It's the same for windmills: lack of recyclability of windmill blades is often brought up as a 'killer argument' against windmills. Reality is that honestly, discarded windmill blades are not so much of an issue. They are inert and can easily be landfilled without inducing substantial damages. Besides that, the volume of the wastestream pales in comparison to other composites (automotive, aviation, etc.) about which there are no complaints. And the generated solid waste in kg/kWh for windmills is much, much lower than the amount of solid waste in kg/kWh for coal-fired power plants: and whereas windmill blades are big, inert pieces, ashes are not... So 'non-recyclability' is a very selective issue which depends very much on the material at hand.