ZSW develops active material recycling processes

The researchers made new battery cells and carried out their electrochemical measurements


An editor at eMobilCar

  • 2 min read

As part of the Recycled Li-ion Battery Cathode and Anode Materials (RecycleMat) project, ZSW has developed a process whereby active materials from used Li-ion batteries can be recycled and used directly in new batteries.

Material powders reactivated with the new process must reach 95 percent of their original capacity. Researchers have already made new battery cells from such recycled material and carried out their electrochemical measurements.

As already mentioned, as part of a project funded by the Ministry of Economy, Labor and Tourism of Baden-Württemberg in the amount of 870,000 euros since August 2020, ZSW has developed a process for separating active materials from the cathode, the positive pole of the battery and the anode, the negative pole, mechanically separated from the used or defective battery electrodes, cleaned and processed into new powders by heat treatment.

A new recycling process makes it possible to reactivate discarded battery electrodes with a cathode structure made from modern standard oxides of lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt and a graphite anode, and then use them directly in new cells

Although lithium-ion batteries do not contain precious metals, the materials used are too valuable not to be recycled: it is the large amount of metals such as copper, nickel, cobalt, aluminum and lithium that makes battery recycling economical and profitable. because of their metal values

The ZSW process for processing cathode materials should essentially match the process for processing graphite and thus avoid "those energy intensive chemical steps".

After just two relatively simple process steps, the cathode materials can be used directly in new batteries and exhibit well over 90% of their original capacity

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