Researchers redevelop electric vehicle battery recycling process

An article published by the researchers at Chalmers University of Technology outlines an optimized recycling process to demonstrate recycling of electric cars batteries can be cheaper, easier, and more environmentally friendly. The research that appeared in the journal Waste Management has been undertaken by some of the world’s top-notch experts in the field, and represents a vital step toward electromobility society of the future.

With the increasing use of electric vehicles, recycling and recovery processes of electric vehicle batteries and critical raw material used in their production are becoming a significant area of research. The combination of hydrometallurgy and thermal pretreatment is one method that currently attracts lot of interest, wherein aqueous chemistry is used to recover metals.

In fact, several companies are developing systems that use this information. Importantly, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology discovered that these companies use temperatures and times that vary widely in their processes, and this pointed at great need for comparative study to find the optimal treatment and hydrometallurgical process for recycling of lithium-ion batteries.

Hydrometallurgical process can be performed at room temperature is a key finding of the new study. This phenomenon has not been tested before, but can provide major advantages in the form of lower costs for recycling and reduced environmental impacts. The process can also be performed quickly that what is was previously thought.

The findings can make significant difference for developers working in the area. In fact, for some systems it lead to significant drop in temperature from 60 to 80 degree Celsius to room temperature, and reduced processing time of several hours to only 30 minutes., stated one of the main authors of the article.