Glossary for Battery Circular Economy

October 10, 2021

Glossary for Battery Circular Economy


I just found a glossary for Circular Economy topics published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. It defines words such as

  • Recycling: Transform a product or component into its basic materials or substances and reprocessing them into new materials.
  • Renewable Materials: Materials that are continually replenished at a rate equal to or greater than the rate of depletion.
  • Reuse: The repeated use of a product or component for its intended purpose without significant modification.
  • Refurbishing: Return a product to good working order. This can include repairing or replacing components, updating specifications, and improving cosmetic appearance.
  • Recyclability: The ease with which a material can be recycled in practice and at scale.
  • Circular Economy: A systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution. It is based on three principles, driven by design: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature.

It is really great to see that and I think we should use this glossary in the battery world too and expand it 🔋!


WHY should we have a Battery Circular Economy Glossary?

Example 1: Battery Recycling ♻️

I recently spoke with a company that calls itself a battery recycler. In reality, they take used batteries and process them for reuse or send them to recyclers – a big difference for me. Another company I spoke with that considers itself a battery recycler sends out small buckets to collect batteries.

Neither company is “Transforming a product or component into its basic materials or substances and reprocessing them into new materials.” as defined in the glossary.

Example 2: Rare Earth Materials ⚛️

In the battery industry, terms like “rare earths” are very often misused. Just yesterday I was reading an investor report on recycling, and again nickel and cobalt were referred to as rare earths. I appreciate suggestions like “critical materials” and maybe we can find other terms.

More examples to come, battery glossary to be developed!