Batteries play a key role in achieving a sustainable and environmentally-friendly energy and transportation model. However, the sustainability of an environmentally-friendly model based on batteries is under debate since the recycling processes are complex and costly. Currently, all the recycling processes start crushing the battery and subsequently recovering the valuable materials in successive separation steps by means of pyro- or hydrometallurgical methods. In the case of Lithium-ion batteries, these processes are economically feasible only if the battery contains sufficient proportion of valuable metals, mostly cobalt and nickel to a lesser extent. In the work recently published in Journal of Power Sources* an innovative concept of semi-solid injectable electrodes is proposed for the first time to facilitate the recycling of active materials and reuse the inactive battery parts. The work shows a proof-of-concept for various types of batteries such as Zn – LiFePO4, LiTi2(PO4)3 – LiFePO4 and Li – LiFePO4. Results indicate the proposed strategy to be of special interest for future emerging aqueous battery chemistries with low cost of active materials with respect to inactive ones.
(*) Perez-Antolin, D., Trócoli, R., Palma, J., Ventosa, E. The injectable battery. A conceptually new strategy in pursue of a sustainable and circular battery model. Journal of Power Sources, 2020, 480, art. no. 228839. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2020.228839
More information: Jesus Palma, Senior researcher, Electrochemical Processes Unit, firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustration of the injectable battery concept. (a) The preassembled cell is fabricated and (b) filled with semi-solid electrodes. After end-of-life (several years), the injectable battery is regenerated by (c) removing the spent semi-solid electrodes, (d) leaving the cell ready for (e) injecting fresh semi-solid electrodes.