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Recycling Cathodes from Spent Lithium-Ion Batteries Based on the Selective Extraction of Lithium

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journal contribution
posted on 16.07.2021, 18:36 by Xing Shen, Bo Li, Xin Hu, Chuan-Fu Sun, Yong-Sheng Hu, Chao Yang, Huizhou Liu, Junmei Zhao
The demand for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) has risen dramatically over the years. However, many of the essential component elements in cathodes, such as cobalt and lithium, are both costly with limited resources. Therefore, the recycling of spent LIB cathodes is of great significance to conserving resources and the environment. In this work, we reported a novel metal-based strategy to selectively leach lithium from different types of cathodes (NCM, LCO, and LMO) by Co2+ or Mn2+, which can realize over 95% lithium leaching rates without other metal ions, such as Ni2+, Co2+, and Mn2+, left in the leachate, and the residual transition metal oxides can be used as cathode precursors. Taking the spent LiCoO2 as an example, the regenerated LiCoO2 particles show decent electrochemical performance, i.e., a reversible discharge capacity of 137.9–162.5 mAh/g upon being charged to 4.2–4.4 V with excellent rate performance and cycling stability at 4.2 V. It is a facile, closed-loop, and scalable process for recycling spent LIB cathodes based on the preferentially selective extraction of lithium, which offers a novel strategy for recycling compositional Li-ion cathode materials.