Nondestructive flash cathode recycling

31 October 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Effective recycling of end-of-life Li-ion batteries (LIBs) is essential due to continuous accumulation of battery waste and gradual depletion of battery metal resources. The present closed-loop solutions include destructive conversion to metal compounds, by destroying the entire three-dimensional morphology of the cathode through continuous thermal treatment or harsh wet extraction methods, and direct regeneration by lithium replenishment. Here, we report a solvent- and water-free flash Joule heating (FJH) method combined with magnetic separation to restore fresh cathodes from waste cathodes, followed by solid-state relithiation. The entire process is called flash recycling. This FJH method exhibits the merits of milliseconds of duration and high battery metal recovery yields of ~98%. After FJH, the cathodes reveal intact core structures with hierarchical features, implying the feasibility of their reconstituting into new cathodes. Relithiated cathodes are further used in LIBs, and show good electrochemical performance, comparable to new commercial counterparts. Life-cycle-analysis highlights that flash recycling has higher environmental and economic benefits over traditional cathode recycling processes.


flash cathode recycling
lithium-ion batteries
flash Joule heating

Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
This PDF file includes: Abbreviations Supplementary Note 1 to 5 Figs. S1 to S23 Tables S1 to S5 References (64)


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.