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The Big Switch

The Battery Recycling Dilemma

This is the final episode of a five-part series exploring the lithium-ion battery supply chain. If you haven’t listened to the first four episodes, we recommend you start there.

Season 4, Episode 5

Why reaching complete circularity in the battery supply chain means rearranging our collective priorities.

So far over this season we’ve traced the global lithium-ion battery supply chain from mining to processing to manufacturing. And we’ve put it all into a geopolitical and economic context.

In this final installment of our five-part series, we come to the end of the road for a battery.

There are a lot of technical innovations on the horizon when it comes to battery recycling. But are we anywhere close to making the battery economy actually circular?

When you get rid of your car, there is a profitable industry that takes responsibility for the components inside of it. And that’s because we’ve had many, many decades to perfect this process — and develop efficient supply chains. The modern battery supply chain is still a work in progress.

In this episode, we’ll visit a recycling facility, learn how battery recyclers are evolving into battery component manufacturers, navigate the complexities of turning dead batteries into new ones, and explore the concept of circularity.


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