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Review

A Critical Review of Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Processes from a Circular Economy Perspective

1
Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, Aalto University, P.O. Box 16200, 0076 Aalto, Finland
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Aalto University, P.O. Box 14400, 0076 Aalto, Finland
3
Helmholtz Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, Chemnitzer Str. 40, 09599 Freiberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Batteries 2019, 5(4), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries5040068
Received: 23 August 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 1 November 2019 / Published: 5 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Battery Technologies)
Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are currently one of the most important electrochemical energy storage devices, powering electronic mobile devices and electric vehicles alike. However, there is a remarkable difference between their rate of production and rate of recycling. At the end of their lifecycle, only a limited number of LIBs undergo any recycling treatment, with the majority go to landfills or being hoarded in households. Further losses of LIB components occur because the the state-of-the-art LIB recycling processes are limited to components with high economic value, e.g., Co, Cu, Fe, and Al. With the increasing popularity of concepts such as “circular economy” (CE), new LIB recycling systems have been proposed that target a wider spectrum of compounds, thus reducing the environmental impact associated with LIB production. This review work presents a discussion of the current practices and some of the most promising emerging technologies for recycling LIBs. While other authoritative reviews have focused on the description of recycling processes, the aim of the present was is to offer an analysis of recycling technologies from a CE perspective. Consequently, the discussion is based on the ability of each technology to recover every component in LIBs. The gathered data depicted a direct relationship between process complexity and the variety and usability of the recovered fractions. Indeed, only processes employing a combination of mechanical processing, and hydro- and pyrometallurgical steps seemed able to obtain materials suitable for LIB (re)manufacture. On the other hand, processes relying on pyrometallurgical steps are robust, but only capable of recovering metallic components. View Full-Text
Keywords: circular economy; recycling processes; lithium-ion battery circular economy; recycling processes; lithium-ion battery
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MDPI and ACS Style

Velázquez-Martínez, O.; Valio, J.; Santasalo-Aarnio, A.; Reuter, M.; Serna-Guerrero, R. A Critical Review of Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Processes from a Circular Economy Perspective. Batteries 2019, 5, 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries5040068

AMA Style

Velázquez-Martínez O, Valio J, Santasalo-Aarnio A, Reuter M, Serna-Guerrero R. A Critical Review of Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Processes from a Circular Economy Perspective. Batteries. 2019; 5(4):68. https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries5040068

Chicago/Turabian Style

Velázquez-Martínez, Omar, Johanna Valio, Annukka Santasalo-Aarnio, Markus Reuter, and Rodrigo Serna-Guerrero. 2019. "A Critical Review of Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Processes from a Circular Economy Perspective" Batteries 5, no. 4: 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries5040068

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