Recycling of lithium iron phosphate batteries: Status, technologies, challenges, and prospects

Mengmeng Wang, Kang Liu, Shanta Dutta, Daniel S. Alessi, Jörg Rinklebe, Yong Sik Ok, Daniel C.W. Tsang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The limited fossil fuel supply toward carbon neutrality has driven tremendous efforts to replace fuel vehicles by electric ones. The recycling of retired power batteries, a core energy supply component of electric vehicles (EVs), is necessary for developing a sustainable EV industry. Here, we comprehensively review the current status and technical challenges of recycling lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. The review focuses on: 1) environmental risks of LFP batteries, 2) cascade utilization, 3) separation of cathode material and aluminium foil, 4) lithium (Li) extraction technologies, and 5) regeneration and transformation of cathode materials. Detailed analyses are elaborated with case examples and technical challenges. Our critical analysis demonstrates that compared with retired lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide (NCM) batteries, LFP batteries do not contain the high-value elements such as Co and Ni, so the economic drive for LFP recycling is compromised although future market prospects are substantial. It is of great practical significance to develop low-carbon and cost-effective Li extraction technologies and regeneration processes for cathode materials to ensure a sustainable and stable development of the LFP battery and EV industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112515
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Volume163
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul

Keywords

  • Clean energy
  • Lithium extraction
  • Resources circulation
  • Retired power batteries
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Waste battery recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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