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Hong Kong team devises new strategy for regenerating Li-ion battery electrode materials

Researchers in Hong Kong have used biodegradable organic methanesulfonic acid (MSA) to leach valuable metals from waste LiCoO2 powders for battery material regeneration.


Under the optimal conditions, leaching efficiencies of lithium and cobalt are achieved at nearly ∼100% and ∼100%, respectively. A paper on their work appears in Journal of Power Sources.

MSA can achieve better leaching performance than previously reported organic acids—such as citric acid, malonic acid, succinic acid, oxalic acid—under the same conditions.

A regeneration study suggests that the as-obtained leachate can be employed to synthesize Co3O4 anode and LiCoO2 cathode materials with micro/nanostructures. Excellent cycling performance and rate capability of the regenerated electrode materials are demonstrated in the repeated charge-discharge cycles.

… this waste-to-resource study demonstrated the great potential of methanesulfonic acid in recycling valuable metals from spent batteries for achieving sustainable development.

—Wang et al.


  • Bin Wang, Xin-Ye Lin, Yuanyuan Tang, Qiang Wang, Michael K.H. Leung, Xiao-Ying Lu (2019) “Recycling LiCoO2 with methanesulfonic acid for regeneration of lithium-ion battery electrode materials,” Journal of Power Sources, Volume 436, 226828, doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2019.226828.



Excellent, well done.
Recycling expensive LiIon batteries will be a key part of the "new automotive economy" both resource wise and financially.
If the batteries are easier to recycle, they will have a higher end of life value and will reduce the cost of owning electric cars.

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