It is possible to recover lithium cobalt oxide from spent batteries – study

The researchers were able to get a complete formula that allowed them to reuse a good amount of the materials inside the battery

According to the scientists, the driving force behind this work was their concern about the generation of secondary pollutants that results from existing battery recycling processes, most of which extract the materials separately through mechanical methods and require additional reagents.

Because of this and due to the fact that batteries are inexpensive, there is little incentive to recycle, so only about 5% of lithium-ion batteries are recycled. 

Zhen He pointed out that only in China, about 2.5 billion end-of-life lithium-ion batteries from portable electronics such as smartphones and laptops will be generated by the end of 2020. Thus, the researcher believes that recovering and recycling critical elements from these devices will play a key role in the sustainability of resource use by society.

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