Press Release

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Ministry of Environment Discusses Support for the Treatment of Secondary Battery Wastewater with Industry and Academia

▷ Forum held for advancing the industrial wastewater management system with the participation of experts from the industry, academia, and others

▷ Explored concrete measures for supporting the treatment of wastewater (high-concentration high-salt wastewater) from secondary battery companies

The Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Wha-jin) held an 'Industrial Wastewater Management Policy Advancement Forum' at BNDPartners Seoul Station Office on February 26, engaging with industry, academia, and others for communication. The Ministry announced that the forum discussed policy directions to support the high-concentration high-salt wastewater treatment in secondary battery companies.

* To discuss the development of industrial wastewater management policies in response to societal changes such as industrial development and advancements in science and technology, the forum has been organized and operated since 2021. 

This forum was organized to explore appropriate management strategies for high-concentration high-salt wastewater, with the participation of industry, academia, and the government. With the recent growth of the secondary battery industry, it is anticipated that the number of companies discharging high-concentration high-salt wastewater in areas such as overall production and recycling of used batteries will increase. However, the characteristics of the wastewater make it challenging to apply conventional methods such as biological treatment. 

During the forum, participants shared information on the characteristics and treatment technologies of secondary battery wastewater. They discussed proposals to support wastewater treatment for secondary battery companies, including suggestions for improving the 'high-salt certification system*.'

* A system that allows marine discharge when the components of high-salt wastewater are primarily composed of seawater elements, proving the absence of ecological toxicity.

In particular, experts believe that economically and environmentally viable high-salt wastewater treatment technologies, such as the recovery of valuable metals and the introduction of a zero-discharge system, will be necessary for the secondary battery industry. Additionally, various opinions were presented, emphasizing the need to assess the diverse impacts of high-salt discharge on marine activities, including not only marine ecosystems but also fisheries..


Following the event on this day, the Ministry will continue communication with stakeholders, including the industry and local governments, by hosting an industry conference on February 27 at an office near Osong Station to discuss the treatment of secondary battery wastewater. Through these efforts, the Ministry plans to promote R&D support for high-concentration high-salt wastewater treatment technologies, establish guidelines for high-salt certification, and operate a joint public-private technology support team to visit the sites of secondary battery companies facing wastewater treatment challenges and provide solutions, aiming to alleviate the burden on these companies and enhance their treatment capabilities. 

Kim Jong-ryul, Director General for Water Environment Policy Bureau at the Ministry of Environment, stated, "We will continue to communicate with the industry, experts, and relevant ministries to minimize the environmental impact of secondary battery wastewater. We will also take the lead in addressing the challenges faced by companies at the industrial sites."

For further information, please contact the Public Relations Division. 

Contact person: Gina Lee, foreign media spokesperson

Phone: +82-44-201-6055

Email: gcjgina