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Research Article

Recovery and regeneration of LiFePO4 from spent lithium ion batteries via a novel pretreating process

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  • Received: 5 May 2020Revised: 20 June 2020Accepted: 6 July 2020Available online: 9 July 2020
  • Recently, the recycling of spent LiFePO4 batteries has received extensive attention due to their environmental impact and economic benefit. In the pretreating process of spent LiFePO4 batteries, the separation of the active materials and the current collectors determines the difficulty of recovery process and the quality of product. In this work, a facile and efficient pretreating process is first proposed. After only freezing the electrode pieces and immersing it in boiling water, LiFePO4 materials have been basically peeled from Al foil. Then, after roasting in an inert atmosphere and sieving, all of the cathode and anode active materials were separated from Al and Cu foils easily and efficiently. The active materials were subjected to acid leaching and the leaching solution further prepared FePO4 and Li2CO3. Finally, the battery-grade FePO4·and Li2CO3 were used to re-synthesize LiFePO4/C via the carbon thermal reduction method. Re-synthesized LiFePO4/C cathode exhibits good electrochemical performance, which satisfies the requirement for middle-end LiFePO4 batteries. The whole process is found to be environmental and have great potential for industrial-scale recycling of spent lithium-ion batteries.
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Recovery and regeneration of LiFePO4 from spent lithium ion batteries via a novel pretreating process

  • Corresponding authors:

    Jia-liang Zhang    E-mail: jialiangzhang@ustb.edu.cn

    Cheng-yan Wang    E-mail: chywang@yeah.net

  • 1. State Key Laboratory of Advanced Metallurgy, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
  • 2. School of Metallurgical and Ecological Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China
  • 3. School of Metallurgy Engineering, JiangXi University of Science and Technology, Ganzhou 341000, China
  • 4. Beijing Key Laboratory of Green Recycling and Extraction of Metals, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083, China

Abstract: Recently, the recycling of spent LiFePO4 batteries has received extensive attention due to their environmental impact and economic benefit. In the pretreating process of spent LiFePO4 batteries, the separation of the active materials and the current collectors determines the difficulty of recovery process and the quality of product. In this work, a facile and efficient pretreating process is first proposed. After only freezing the electrode pieces and immersing it in boiling water, LiFePO4 materials have been basically peeled from Al foil. Then, after roasting in an inert atmosphere and sieving, all of the cathode and anode active materials were separated from Al and Cu foils easily and efficiently. The active materials were subjected to acid leaching and the leaching solution further prepared FePO4 and Li2CO3. Finally, the battery-grade FePO4·and Li2CO3 were used to re-synthesize LiFePO4/C via the carbon thermal reduction method. Re-synthesized LiFePO4/C cathode exhibits good electrochemical performance, which satisfies the requirement for middle-end LiFePO4 batteries. The whole process is found to be environmental and have great potential for industrial-scale recycling of spent lithium-ion batteries.

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