FUNDAMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF DIRECT RECYCLING USING CHEMICALLY DELITHIATED CATHODE
Recycling valuable cathode material from end-of-life (EOL) Li-ion batteries (LIBs) is essential to preserve raw material depletion and environmental sustainability. Direct recycling reclaims the cathode material without jeopardizing its original functional structures and maximizing return values from spent LIBs compared to other regeneration processes. This work employed two chemically delithiated lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) cathodes at different states of health (SOH), which are analogous to the spent cathodes but free of any impurities, to investigate the effectiveness of cathode regeneration. The material and electrochemical properties of both delithiated SOHs were systematically examined and compared to pristine LCO cathode. Further, those model materials were regenerated by a hydrothermal-based approach. The direct cathode regeneration of both low and high SOH cathode samples restored their reversible capacity and cycle performance comparable to pristine LCO cathode. However, the inferior performance observed in higher current density (2C) rate was not comparable to pristine LCO. In addition, the higher resistance of regenerated cathodes is attributed to lower high-rate performance, which was pointed out as the key challenge of the cathode recycling process. This study provides valuable knowledge about the effectiveness of cathode regeneration by investigating how the disordered, lithium-deficient cathode at different SOH from spent EOL batteries are rejuvenated without changing any material and electrochemical functional properties.
National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2138553
- Master of Science
- Mechanical Engineering