The process uses electrolysis to rejuvenate the electrodes and has been found to produce electrodes that are almost as energy efficient as brand new batteries
Spotted: Scientists at Finland’s Aalto University have found a method to revive lithium-ion batteries and to facilitate their reuse.
Current methods of battery recycling require expensive and energy-consuming processes to separate and purify the materials before they can be reused. Lithium-ion batteries can be recycled either by processing the whole battery, or dismantling the cells before starting the recovery process. The latter has been more popular, but the dismantling can be a laborious process without the proper equipment available.
The new process, which is called “re-lithiation,” aims tο reverse the gradual loss of lithium, which is what causes batteries to stop working. The concept is essentially a “rejuvenation” process using electrolysis.
“By reusing the structures of batteries we can avoid a lot of the labor that is common in recycling and potentially save energy at the same time,” explains Aalto University professor, Tanja Kallio.
When research was carried out to compare the performance of electrodes in lithium batteries that had been submitted to re-lithiation to that of brand new batteries, the capacity was almost the case.
Written By: Katrina Lane