A direct recycling case study from a lithium-ion battery recall

Elsevier, Sustainable Materials and Technologies, Volume 25, 2020, e00152, ISSN 2214-9937
Steve Sloop, Lauren Crandon, Marshall Allen, Kara Koetje, Lori Reed, Linda Gaines, Weekit Sirisaksoontorn, Michael Lerner

Direct recycling of lithium-ion is a promising method for manufacturing sustainability. It is more efficient than classical methods because it recovers the functional cathode particle without decomposition into substituent elements or dissolution and precipitation of the whole particle. This case study of cathode-healing™ applied to a battery recall demonstrates an industrial model for recycling of lithium-ion, be it consumer electronic or electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The comprehensive process includes extraction of electrolyte with carbon dioxide, industrial shredding, electrode harvesting, froth flotation, cathode-healing™ and finally, building new cells with recycled cathode and anode. The final products demonstrated useful capability in the first full cells made from direct recycled cathodes and anodes from an industrial source. The lessons learned on recycling the prototypical chemistry are preliminarily applied to EV relevant chemistries.