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Recycling of end-of-life lithium ion batteries

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are being increasingly used in modern applications, such as portable electronic devices and electric vehicles (EVs), due to their high energy density and long cycling life. Recently ADS examined the current status of spent LiFePO4 batteries recycling in Europe, assessing the state of the art in preprocessing and final batteries recovery.

ADS presents an innovative approach for the recycling of end-of-life lithium ion batteries (LIBs) in order to properly dispose of hazardous waste and extract useful materials in a cost-effective manner. State-of-the-art recycling technologies based on chemical leaching methods have critical issues such as excessive chemical consumption and secondary pollution. To address these issues, ADS has developed a redox targeting-based process for the recycling of spent LiFePO4. With a selective and regenerative redox mediator, 0.20 M [Fe(CN)6]3− solution, LiFePO4 is broken down into FePO4 and Li+ via the redox-targeting reaction between the redox mediator and the material. This process has a recycling efficiency for lithium removal up to 99.8% at room temperature, while minimizing chemical consumption and eliminating secondary pollutants. The reacted redox species are instantaneously regenerated on the electrode for subsequent rounds of reaction while Li+ is separated from the counter electrode compartment.

As a result, ADS has achieved high purity LiOH (99.90%) and FePO4 (99.97%) through this cost-effective and environmentally-friendly approach. ADS envisions that this process can be extended to other materials and promote the sustainability of LIB technologies.

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