The U.S. battery recycling market size was valued at USD 944.4 million in 2017 and is projected to grow at a steady pace owing to stringent government regulations regarding battery manufacturing and disposal processes. Moreover, increasing demand from end-use industries such as consumer electronics and transportation is expected to drive the market in the coming years. Stability of battery demand-supply ratio is also expected to fuel the market.
U.S. battery recycling market revenue split, by type, 2017 (% share)
Increasing awareness regarding environmental pollution among customers and manufacturers has fueled market growth in U.S. Furthermore, recuperated metal from old batteries significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions and energy requirements, which further supports environmental responsibility. This is also expected to result in significant growth of the U.S. battery recycling market.
Strict government regulations regarding greenhouse gas emissions and preservation of the environment has led to rise in battery recycling services. The Environmental Protection Agency started regulating greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act from 2011. The agency has designed a performance standard, which is to be adhered to by the industry. These performance standards are to limit emissions, which is anticipated to improve public and environment health. Thus, battery manufacturers are expected meet set standards by using modified, reconstructed facilities or systems.
Consumption of primary resources of lead and lithium is expected to increase in future owing to rise in population. The automotive sector is further responsible for extensive use of lead acid batteries and is expected to increase significantly in future. Lead acid batteries are the largest recycled product in U.S., thereby boosting market growth.
Constant innovations in the recycling process, which use comparatively lesser energy than traditional processes, are the manufacturers to invest in the market in spite of heavy capital investment. For instance, an improved technique that spits out compounds ready to be used in new batteries has been developed. This technique works for lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries and lithium-cobalt-oxide batteries. For instance, Farasis Energy, a San Francisco-based company is using this direct recycling technique.
Segmentation by type
• Lead Acid
• Lithium Ion
• Nickel Batteries
Lead acid batteries form the largest type segment. This growth is attributed to widespread application in the automobile sector for lighting, ignition, and other purposes. Moreover, the process for recycling these batteries is cost-effective, easy, and consumes less energy. This is anticipated to stimulate segment demand in the coming years.
Segmentation by end use
Majority of battery manufacturers are located outside the country, in regions such as in Mexico. As a result, used batteries from U.S. are exported to these areas for recycling to make the most of cheap labor as well as ease in regulations and government policies.
The U.S. battery recycling market is consolidated in nature. Key companies include Johnson Controls International, PLC; Aqua Metals, Inc.; and Exide Industries, with Johnson being the leading player in the market. It has more than 50 manufacturing and recycling facilities. New market entrants are also investing in the market and developing innovative techniques to procure metals at low cost.
Research Support Specialist, USA