Excerpt from datacenterdynamics.com
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries first appeared in data centers approximately five years ago to be used in uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems as a means of ensuring uptime for mission-critical infrastructure in data centers. While Li-ion batteries are becoming increasingly popular for their reliable performance, low maintenance, and small footprint, there has been a fair amount of speculation regarding the costs and sustainability of recycling these batteries.
The belief among skeptics was that most Li-ion batteries end up in a landfill, and those that are recycled are done so using a furnace process that melts all components and renders everything but the reclaimed metals totally unsalvageable.
Several years ago, that process was commonplace, but a growing number of companies are using recycling processes that recover more of the valuable elements in the battery while minimizing or eliminating waste by-products. Government pressure and early, aggressive Li-ion battery adoption have kept China at the forefront of developing recycling technology and infrastructure, including a closed-loop Li-ion battery recycling plant.