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Around five lakh tonnes of lithium-ion batteries (LIB) have already reached the end of life. Notably, by 2030 this count will rise to 3 million tonnes, making lithium-ion battery recycling not only a responsibility but a golden opportunity. This, in return, will help significantly reduce the hazards of waste LIB poses to the environment and human health by diverting them from incinerators and landfills.

Lithium-ion battery recycling plant setup in India - Overview

The market around lithium-ion battery recycling is huge and flourishing; major credit goes to electric vehicles (EVs). Recycling other lithium-ion batteries, including phones and power tools, is possible, but the majority comes from EVs.

In 2019, the lithium-ion battery recycling market was estimated to be worth $1.5 billion. The estimated count of available lithium-ion batteries to be recycled in 2020 was 4,60,000 metric tons. By 2025, the market for recycling is predicted to flourish to $12.2 billion. Studies reveal that 95% of LIBs today end up in landfills. Moreover, only 5% are recycled and reused. Such less amount of lithium-ion battery recycling can prove hazardous for the environment. However, industry experts estimate that the lithium-ion battery recycling sector to pick up pace within the next ten years. Thus, the Government of India notified the Battery Waste Management (BWM) Rules, 2022. These rules promote more eco-friendly ways of waste battery management. The new rules also make various stakeholders responsible for the recycling of LIB. This highlights the need for setting up of lithium-ion battery recycling plant in India. Read on to know the complete details.

Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022

These rules apply to recyclers and entities engaged in recycling waste lithium-ion batteries. These rules also stand valid for all types of batteries regardless of their shape, chemistry, volume, material composition, weight and use.

Conditions where BWM Rules, 2022 don’t apply

BWM Rules, 2022 don’t apply to batteries used in the following -

(i) equipment connected with the protection of essential security interests such as ammunitions, arms, war material and those designed particularly for military purposes; and

(ii) equipment intended to be sent into space.


Environmentally sound management is the management of waste batteries, such as to protect the environment and human health against any adverse effects which may yield from any substance contained in the waste battery. These may involve the recycling of lithium-ion batteries and/or refurbishment;

Battery materials are materials contained in the battery, including metals like cobalt, nickel, lead, lithium and other materials like paper, plastics, etc.;

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) the responsibility of any battery producer for environmentally sound management of waste batteries;

A recycler is any entity involved in waste battery recycling; and

EPR Registration is a registration by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of a producer for EPR.

Types of batteries

A battery means refurbished or new cell and/or battery and/or their component, such as accumulator, which is any means of electrical energy produced by direct conversion of chemical energy and involves disposable secondary and/or primary battery;

End of life battery is a battery that has been used, completed its desired use and is not meant for refurbishment;

An electric vehicle (EV) battery is any battery mainly designed to offer traction to hybrid and EVs for road transport;

An industrial battery is any battery designed for industrial uses except EV, portable, and automotive batteries. These can include unsealed batteries (except automotive batteries), sealed batteries (except potable batteries) and energy storage system batteries;

A portable battery is a battery that is sealed, less than five kg, not intended for industrial purposes, EV, or to be used as an automotive battery;

The used battery is a battery and/or its components that have been used and have residual life, and are ideal for refurbishment;

Waste battery includes:
  • End of Life and/or used battery and/or its components or consumables or parts or spares which may or may not be hazardous in nature;
  • Battery whose date for appropriate use has expired;
  • Pre-consumer Off-Spec Battery and its components or parts or spares or consumables; and
  • The battery that the user has discarded.

Functions of lithium-ion battery recycler

(1) All lithium-ion battery recyclers must register with the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) via the online portal. The registration certificate is issued in Form 2(B).

(2) It is the responsibility of the lithium-ion battery recycler to –

(i) Make sure that s/he performs any activity according to the guidelines stated by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB);

(ii) apply in Form 2(A) to the SPCB for grant of one-time registration. Also, the recycler must furnish the following details -

  • GST No
  • Consent Validity (CTE and CTO) (Pollution NOC)
  • Validity of Authorisation under rule 6 of the Hazardous (Hazardous Authorisation)
  • Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2016
  • Validity of certificate of registration with the District Industries Centre
  • Capacity of recycling unit(s) in (MTA)

(iii) make sure that hazardous waste produced from any activity of the entity is managed as per the (HOWM) Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016;

(iv) Make sure that another waste produced during handling and recycling activities is managed according to the extant regulations like Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016, Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016, and E-waste (Management) (EWM) Rules, 2016;

(v) guarantee that recycling facilities and processes for waste batteries adhere to the norms or guidelines stated by CPCB;

(vi) make sure that the waste battery is eliminated from the collected appliance if the battery is incorporated into a device.

(3) Lithium-ion battery recyclers must provide the quarterly returns in Form 4 related to the date on the quantity of waste battery collected or received from recycled quantities, several producers or entities, compliance of material-wise recovery percentage according to the recovery targets given in sub-rule 4 of rule 10, the quantity of hazardous and/or other waste including plastic or solid waste produced after recycling and of such quantity according to the extant rules and the quarterly return must be filed by the end of the month succeeding the end of the quarter.

(4) The total quantity of waste batteries processed by the entity engaged in recycling waste lithium-ion batteries every quarter must be furnished on the portal created by CPCB and on the entities' websites.

(5) Lithium-ion battery recyclers must not deal with any other facility not having registration mandated under these rules.

(6) Submit quarterly returns in Form 4 to SPCB by the month end, succeeding the end of the quarter. The lithium-ion battery recycler must furnish the following details -

  • GST Number
  • Registration No. With State Pollution Control Board
  • Capacity of recycling unit(s) in (MTA)
  • Details of Waste Battery collected from different entities, including producer(s)
  • Details of Waste Battery recycled
  • Details of waste generated and disposed of during recycling or refurbishing operations
  • Extended Producer Responsibility certificate details

Provision of certificate for waste battery

(1) Entities engaged in recycling lithium-ion batteries registered under these rules must furnish a certificate for waste battery processing.

(2) In no case the amount of waste battery recycled by the entity must be more than the installed capacity of the entity. These certificates must be for waste battery category-wise and must include Goods and Services Tax (GST) information of the entity.

(3) The certificate for waste batteries given by the registered entities must be provided for the type and quantity of lithium-ion batteries recycled. It may be transacted to meet EPR obligations.

(4) CPCB must furnish for the issuance of such certificates on the online portal.

(5) Recovery of minimum percentage target is the percentage of the total weight of all recovered materials out of the dry weight of the battery, and recyclers must be mandated for minimum recovery of battery materials as given in the table below.

S. No.

Type of Battery

Recovery Target for the year (in percentage)



2026-27 and onwards

















Electric Vehicle




(6) The Committee can review the recovery target made under Rule 15 once every four years to revise the minimum levels of recovered battery materials in light of scientific and technical progress and flourishing new technologies in waste management. The Committee must recommend this to the (MoEF&CC) Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

(7) EPR certificates must be generated by CPCB via the centralised online portal depending on the recycled quantities and assigned to lithium-ion battery recyclers. The recyclers can sell the assigned EPR certificates to the producers in exchange for waste batteries.

(8) EPR certificates for lithium-ion battery recyclers must be produced depending on the weight of the battery processed, the percentage fulfilment of material recovery targets for a particular year and the geographical source of the battery, imported or domestic.

(9) The formula given is used to estimate the EPR certificates for lithium-ion battery recyclers:

EPR certificates (kg) = (Actual recovery of battery materials (in %)/Recovery target for the mentioned year of the battery type (in %)) x quantity of battery processed (kg) x (1-A).

Note: A=0 for waste batteries produced domestically; and A=0.2 for waste battery sourced via imports allowed under HOWM Rules, 2016.

(10) Surplus EPR certificates in a category must only be used for off-setting, carry forward and sale for the same battery category.

(11) A surplus EPR certificate under lithium-ion battery recycling must be used for recycling. A surplus under refurbishing can't be used for recycling.

(12) All such transactions must be recorded and filed by lithium-ion battery recyclers online while filing quarterly returns.

(13) EPR certificates produced by lithium-ion battery recyclers must be valid for seven years to meet the producer's obligations.

Action on violations and imposition of Environmental Compensation

(1) Environmental Compensation (EC) must also be levied for the following activities depending on the polluter pays principle (PPP), –

  • i. entities involved in activities without registration as mandated in these rules;
  • ii. wilful concealment/furnishing of false information of material facts by the entities registered under these rules;
  • iii. submission of manipulated/forged documents by the entities registered in these rules;
  • iv. entities involved in segregation, collection and treatment regarding not following proper handling of the waste battery.

(2) These activities can also be dealt with under the norms of section 15 of the Environment (Protection) (EP) Act, 1986, in case of violation or evasion either by the entity itself or help abet any obligated entity violate or evade obligations, after allowing an opportunity of being heard.

(3) Committee for Implementation formed by CPCB under rule 15 must prepare and recommend guidelines for collecting and imposing Environmental Compensation from producers and entities engaged in recycling waste batteries in case of non-fulfilment of obligations in these rules.

(4) The proposed guidelines must be submitted to the MoEF&CC for implementing such Environmental Compensation.

(5) respective SPCB must levy Environmental Compensation on entities engaged in recycling lithium-ion batteries and entities involved in segregation, collection and treatment, operating in their jurisdiction concerning non-fulfilment of their responsibilities and obligations set out under BWM rules, 2022. If the SPCB doesn't take action in two months, the CPCB must issue directions to the SPCB.

(6) After completion, three years after EC gets due, the entire EC amount will be forfeited; this arrangement must allow for the collection and recycling of waste batteries by the concerned entities in later years.

(7) The funds collected under EC must be reserved in a separate escrow account by SPCB or CPCB.

(8) The funds collected must be used to collect and recycle non-recycled, uncollected, or non-refurbished waste batteries against which the Environmental Compensation is imposed.

(9) The Committee must recommend modalities for using the funds for waste battery management for implementation for the approval of the Central Government.

(10) Non-fulfilment of obligations set out in these norms can attract penal actions under the provisions of section 15 of the EP Act, 1986.

Centralised Online Portal

(1) CPCB must establish an online system for the registration and filing of returns by lithium-ion battery recyclers within six months of the commencement of these rules.

(2) The system must guarantee a mechanism wherein the material balance of waste battery according to the EPR obligations of producers is reflected. It must also reflect the info related to the audit of the producers and entities engaged in recycling waste lithium-ion batteries.

(3) The SPCB must also use the web portal of CPCB for registering producers for registering entities engaged in the recycling of used batteries.

(4) The web portal must act as the single-point data repository concerning orders and norms related to implementing these rules.

Prohibitions on heavy metal content in the battery

  • (i) Battery that has up to 0.0005% (5 ppm) of mercury by weight can only be placed till 2025;
  • (ii) Battery that has up to 0.002% (2000 ppm) of cadmium by weight can only be placed;
  • (iii) paragraph (1) - (i) will not apply to button zinc silver oxide battery with a mercury content < 2% and button zinc-air battery with a mercury content < 2% by weight.
  • (iv) prohibition in paragraph (1) - (ii) will not apply to a portable battery proposed for use in –

A. emergency and alarm systems, including emergency lighting;

B. medical equipment

Targets for EPR

(i) The EPR target must include the collection targets stated in the tables and the 100% recycling target of the EPR collection target of the specific year.

(ii) The recycling of lithium-ion Batteries is the recycling of battery materials like nickel, lead, lithium, cobalt, rubber, plastics, glass, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. Explain lithium-ion battery recycling in detail?

    The recycling process for Li-ion batteries is performed in the given steps. Shredders break down the batteries and separate the black mass. The black mass is then filtered, washed and dried to extract valuable raw materials like cobalt, lithium and graphite. Recycling these raw materials rather than simply dumping used lithium-ion batteries in landfills profits humans and the environment.

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