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New Type of Battery: Lithium Thionyl

As of January 1, 2023, a new type of battery will be introduced in our myBatbase registration portal: lithium thionyl chloride batteries. These are non-rechargeable lithium batteries that are primarily used for industrial purposes. Thionyl is difficult to recycle and the number of lithium thionyl batteries in use is increasing. Consequently, the disposal contribution for this type of battery is also going up.

How will this affect you?

First of all, it is important to update your organization’s battery list: lithium thionyl will be a new category in myBatbase. Whereas you used to register all lithium batteries under the header of “lithium,” you will have to distinguish between lithium batteries and lithium thionyl batteries from now on. Remove any products or batteries with a “lithium” code and readd them using the “lithium thionyl” code. You can do this via the “Statement” form. The codes can be found in the battery overview under “Information.”

The disposal contribution for thionyl batteries is going up because the recycling costs of thionyl are much higher, relatively speaking, than those of other chemical systems such as lithium-ion. Since thionyl is a harmful substance, there are not many recyclers in Europe who are willing to take on the task of recycling thionyl – even though the number of lithium thionyl batteries in use is increasing. In light of these developments, the collection, storage and recycling costs may increase further in 2023. We will pass these costs on to the producers and importers of this type of battery.

What about the recycling of thionyl?

Recycling metals out of lithium is a complex process due to the high energy density. Lithium batteries are sorted, dismantled, shredded and then sieved. Only then can recyclers recover various metals from lithium. Lithium thionyl batteries contain thionyl chloride: a corrosive liquid that produces harmful vapors during the recycling process.

Where can you find lithium thionyl batteries on the market?

Lithium thionyl chloride (LTC or Li-ScoCl2) falls into the “lithium” category and is a non-rechargeable primary battery that is mostly used for industrial purposes such as military, medical, security, marine and offshore applications. Thionyl is also used in the aviation and aerospace sector and in railway, defense, telecommunication, GPS and emergency power systems.

The batteries have a long lifespan of ten to forty years and are available in the form of A, AA, AAA, ½ AA, 2/3 A, 2/3 AA, C, D, DD and E Block batteries. For industrial applications, the batteries are often used in series, which can significantly increase their total weight.

More information

More information about the new rates for 2023 can be found in this blog and the 2023 recycling fees. If you have any questions, please call Carolina Boer at 079 – 363 2090 or send an email to [email protected].