A perspective of low carbon lithium-ion battery recycling technology

Ye Shui Zhang* (Corresponding Author), Kirstin Schneider, Hao Qiu, Hua Lun Zhu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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With the significant rise in the application of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) in electromobility, the amount of spent LIBs is also increasing. LIB recycling technologies which conserve sustainable resources and protect the environment need to be developed for achieving a circular economy. Recycling of LIBs will reduce the environmental impact of the batteries by reducing carbon dioxide emissions in terms of saving natural resources to reduce raw materials mining. This work reviewed the most advanced and ongoing LIB recycling technologies, and categorized the reviewed technologies according to the components of the LIB cells, including cathodes, anodes, electrolyte and separators. Most recycling technologies focus on the recovery of valuable metals, particular for cobalt by hydrometallurgical method from the cathodes. The commercial process based on the combination of the pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical technologies which was commercially developed by Umicore, and Retriev, is mainly focusing on the developed hydrometallurgical technology for optimizing the recovering efficiency. There is research undergoing to recover graphite from anodes through Fenton oxidation, froth flotation and thermal treatment with a combination of hydrometallurgical process. As LIB recycling technologies are under development, there is great potential to reduce emission of carbon dioxide and this should be a focus in research. There is also a high need to develop a more advanced LIB recycling technology to recover more valuable materials with reduced carbon emission, therefore to contribute to “Net zero” ambition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100074
Number of pages14
JournalCarbon Capture Science and Technology
Early online date17 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


  • Carbon emission
  • Hydrometallurgy
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Low carbon
  • Mechanical processing
  • Pyrometallurgy
  • Recycling


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