Water-Based Electrode Manufacturing and Direct Recycling of Lithium-Ion Battery Electrodes-A Green and Sustainable Manufacturing System
Wood, David L., III
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It is critical to develop a low-cost and environmentally friendly system to manufacture and recycle lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) as the demand on LIBs keeps increasing dramatically. Conventional LIB cathodes are manufactured using N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone as the solvent, which is expensive, highly toxic, flammable, and energy intensive to produce and recover. Ideally, a close-loop industrial supply chain should be built, in which the batteries are manufactured, market harvested, and recycled with minimal external toxic solvent through the whole system. This work demonstrates a green and more sustainable manufacturing method for LIBs where no hazardous organic solvent is used during electrode manufacturing and recycling. The electrodes fabricated via water-based processing demonstrate comparable rate performance and cycle life to the ones from conventional solvent-based processing. Utilization of a water-soluble binder enables recovering the cathode compound from spent electrodes using water, which is successfully regenerated to deliver comparable electrochemical performance to the pristine one.