American Chemical Society
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Innovative Electrochemical Strategy to Recovery of Cathode and Efficient Lithium Leaching from Spent Lithium-Ion Batteries

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-05-07, 21:29 authored by Kui Liu, Shenglong Yang, Feiyan Lai, Hongqiang Wang, Youguo Huang, Fenghua Zheng, Shubin Wang, Xiaohui Zhang, Qingyu Li
Recycling of spent lithium-ion batteries is of great importance for environmental protection and resusing resources. This work proposes a green and environmentally friendly recycling strategy of LiNi1/3Co1/3Mn1/3O2 cathode material for spent batteries by an electrochemical method. In the designed electrolysis cell, the produced gaseous species from oxidation of solvent molecules occurring at the interfaces between electrode/cathode materials and active particles/binder exert the force to separate bonded particles from current collector. Meanwhile, the efficient leaching of lithium (>98%) into electrolyte was achieved under an electric field without additional leaching process. The Al can also be recovered in the form of metallic foil. The separation of active material, the selective leaching of lithium, and recovery of Al foil are conducted by one-step electrolysis in a short operating cycle. The remaining transition metals in residues were reused to synthesize LiNi1/3Co1/3Mn1/3O2 material. As the cathode material, the regenerated active material delivers an initial capacity of 161 mAh g–1 at 0.1 C and 88.3% remains after 200 cycles. The superior cycling stability is comparable to the unused commercial batteries. This innovative approach can be readily extended to recover other types of cathode materials for spent lithium-ion batteries.