Innovative solutions to emerging challenges in lead recycling

Agenda for
21-23 June

Maurizio Mori
Head of Marketing & Sales, GME Recycling, Italy
In recent years, the adoption of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries has grown rapidly in a wide range of applications, including automotive, bicycles, kick scooters and scooters. This is mainly due to their high energy density, their low weight, their ability to be recharged quickly and their longer life compared to lead-acid batteries.

In the automotive industry, the adoption of lithium-ion batteries has led to the rise in popularity of electric vehicles (EVs). In 2021, an estimated 4 million electric vehicles were sold worldwide, largely fueled by the adoption of Li-ion batteries. Li-ion batteries have become increasingly efficient and cheaper in recent years, which has made electric vehicles more accessible to a wider audience.
Electric bicycles (e-bikes) are another application where Li-ion batteries are becoming more common. In Europe, sales of e-bikes have been steadily increasing for many years, with over 4 million units sold in 2020. Li-ion batteries have been instrumental in increasing the range of e-bikes, which have made these means of transport even more attractive to consumers.

Electric scooters and scooters are also becoming more and more popular, and here too Li-ion batteries are becoming more and more popular. Li-ion batteries are able to deliver high energy density in a relatively small and light form, making them ideal for use in personal mobility devices.
In regards to battery recycling, it is important to note that Li-ion and lead-acid batteries have very different chemical properties, and therefore cannot be easily mixed for recycling. In the recycling process, Li-ion batteries are usually dismantled and their parts are separated in order to recover precious materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel. On the other hand, lead-acid batteries are usually recycled through a smelting process to recover lead and other materials.

Global demand for Li-ion batteries is expected to soar over the next decade, with the number of GWh required increasing from about 700 GWh in 2022 to around 4.7 TWh by 2030 (Exhibit 1). Batteries for mobility applications, such as electric vehicles (EVs), will account for the vast bulk of demand in 2030—about 4,300 GWh; an unsurprising trend seeing that mobility is growing rapidly.

This is largely driven by three major drivers:
● A regulatory shift toward sustainability, which includes new net-zero targets and guidelines, including Europe’s “Fit for 55” program, the US Inflation Reduction Act, the 2035 ban of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in the EU, and India’s Faster Adoption and Manufacture of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles Scheme.
● Greater customer adoption rates and increased consumer demand for greener technologies (up to 90 percent of total passenger car sales will involve EVs in selected countries by 2030).
● Announcements by 13 of the top 15 OEMs to ban ICE vehicles and achieve new emission-reduction targets.

In summary, the adoption of Li-ion batteries is growing rapidly in a wide range of applications, including automotive, bicycles, kick scooters and scooters. However, as far as recycling is concerned, Li-ion and lead-acid batteries cannot be easily mixed, the result, in fact, is already creating huge problems and in some cases damages to the existing facilities with a major concern for the general environment safety (fire and/or explosion).

A solution must be found that does not merge these batteries into the mix of lead-acid batteries

Solution: GME new AI Visual Tracking inspection technology to detect Lithium Ion batteries and be ready for the step 2 application - a complete AI controlled line -

Lead-acid batteries with Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) technology are a type of sealed lead-acid battery, which uses a porous glass material to hold the electrolyte inside the battery. This type of battery offers increased life and performance over traditional lead-acid batteries, and is particularly suitable for applications such as use in commercial vehicles, boats and emergency power systems.

In the world market, the sector of lead-acid batteries with AGM technology has continued to grow in recent years, thanks to their growing popularity in various applications. According to a 2020 research report by MarketsandMarkets, the global market for AGM lead-acid batteries was valued at USD 11.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 13.9 billion by 2025, with a rate of compound annual growth (CAGR) of 3.1% over the forecast period.

In Europe, the market for lead-acid batteries with AGM technology has been particularly strong, particularly for emergency backup applications and telecom power systems. According to a 2021 research report by TechSci Research, the European AGM battery market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.6% between 2021 and 2026. The growing focus on sustainability and clean energy sources is also driving the adoption of lead-acid batteries with AGM technology in applications such as solar and wind energy.

In addition, new exhaust emission regulations are driving the adoption of electric commercial vehicles, which require high-quality and reliable batteries. This is leading to a growing demand for AGM lead-acid batteries for use in electric commercial vehicles, especially for auxiliary power applications.
In summary, the global market for lead-acid batteries with AGM technology is growing steadily, thanks to their longer life and performance compared to traditional lead-acid batteries. In Europe, the market for AGM batteries is particularly strong due to their adoption in a variety of applications including emergency backup, telecom power systems, solar and wind energy, and electric commercial vehicles.

Solution: GME new Power Wash - through a Ultra power wash system on the Vibrating screen is able to fragment the Fiber ceramic into smaller pieces to get free from the metallic fractions and perfectly separate it


Maurizio Mori holds a Degree in Economics and Business Administration from Università Cattolica di Milano, and a Masters Degree in Marketing. He started his professional journey at Samsung Electronics as a Product Manager Support, then continued on to Candy Group (currently Haier group) connecting consumers’ needs with new technologies, enablers of a greater value, within the consumer technology industry.

Keen on the commercial dimension and passionate about digital and new ways to interact with consumers, in 2016 Maurizio joined Whirlpool Corporation Group, driving new product development from scratch up to sellout strategies and initiatives, on different product categories and across EMEA, pursing strong track of records on all relevant KPIs.

Today Maurizio is serving GME commercial operations with the aim of spreading a sustainable and green technological message around the Circular economy industry.