Researchers uncover new process to make lithium-ion batteries more environmentally friendly

June 29th, 2020

Researchers at Virginia Tech and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have developed a new process that uses water soluble binders to replace organic solvents in manufacturing and recycling.

The new breakthrough could play a major role in reducing the costs, hazards and environmental impacts associated with the manufacturing and recycling of lithium-ion batteries.

One of the most pressing topics related to the expansion of lithium-ion production is how to best recover and reuse the valuable metals found in the electrodes of these batteries. At present, N-methyl-2-pyrolidone (NMP), a costly and toxic solvent, is used in both the manufacturing and recovery of these metals.

After years of scientists working to develop more environmentally friendly solutions, it appears the industry is finally set to benefit from these efforts, although considerable testing and fine-tuning will still need to be done before commercial adoption.

You can read the full study here.


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