Journal of Power Sources, Vol.426, 259-265, 2019
Efficient recycling of valuable resources from discarded lithium-ion batteries
Recycling of waste electronics to recover raw materials is beneficial for the environment, particularly for electronic devices containing expensive metals such as lithium-ion batteries, which use lithium and cobalt as the electro-active materials. Recycling of these resources is a critical issue for both environmental reasons and cost reduction of lithium-ion batteries. In this study, we introduce a combination of efficient direct physical and intermediate recycling processes to minimize the environmental burden of lithium-ion batteries. High-purity materials are required in the fabrication of lithium-ion batteries to avoid unwanted side reactions stemming from impurities that may lead to safety issues. To achieve this purification, we employ a method that uses the difference in the solubility of materials in several solvents at different temperatures. Using this method, we successfully refine lithium and cobalt compounds with high purity from waste electrodes. The obtained high-purity materials are compared with commercial materials to ensure that their physical and chemical properties are comparable. Finally, it is observed that the electrochemical performance of the electrode material prepared from the purified material is similar to that of the commercially available electrode materials.