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Apurba Kumar Saha

University of Arizona
EREF Scholar 2022 

Value Recovery of Spent Li-Ion Batteries: Optimizing the Economic and Environmental Impacts Project Description:
The Li-ion battery (LIB) is crucial for modern electric vehicles and consumer electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and digital cameras. Consequently, in recent decades, the demand for LIBs has increased sharply, and so has production. As LIBs are considered hazardous solid waste, the concern for managing this massive volume of batteries after their end-of-life (EOL) is multiplying. Recycling those EOL products is an excellent option for protecting the environment from such hazardous waste. Additionally, critical materials like cobalt, nickel, lithium, and manganese can be recovered after recycling EOL batteries, which will reduce the burden on the geological reserve. Apurba’s research tries to address this issue and focuses on developing strategies for the optimal processing of spent LIBs coming from the US market. 

The objectives of this project are to 1) perform life cycle assessment to compare the environmental footprints of different recycling technologies, 2) plan a comprehensive value recovery supply chain for the optimal processing of EOL batteries, and 3) propose incentive strategies to promote the collection of EOL batteries. As part of this project, an optimization model will be developed to strategically position the recovered products in the US market while maximizing profit and environmental benefits. Based on the results from the optimization model, several incentive strategies will be proposed to help the government develop an optimal approach for promoting the development of a value recovery network, especially in the early stages when the EOL products are not readily available.  

Apurba Kumar Saha obtained his BSc in Industrial and Production Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (July 2014 – October 2018). Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in Systems and Industrial Engineering at the University of Arizona (expected 20202025). Apurba’s research interests include waste management and optimization for sustainability. He has three years of experience in designing optimal reverse logistics networks for recovering valuable critical materials from the endof-life products like electric vehicles and consumer electronics as well as manufacturing scraps.