The new technology that revives dead lithium batteries up to 80%

The new technology is one of the most promising recycling techniques, as it can fully recharge deteriorated lithium-ion batteries.

lithium batteries

Japanese researchers have created a method allowing lithium-ion batteries that lose capacity over time to recharge nearly 100% of their initial capacity. As the demand for electric cars rises in the upcoming years, injecting chemicals into the battery to extend its usable life may hold the key to fixing the impending collapse in battery production.

Nowadays, living in a world without lithium-ion batteries is nearly impossible, even for those who are not particularly tech-savvy. Our cell phones, speakers, watches, computers, and automobiles are all powered by these gadgets, which will only increase when transportation electrifies, as predicted in the next several decades.

One of the primary issues with this kind of battery is that it gradually loses some of the charged particles necessary for energy storage during usage, which reduces its longevity and autonomy to the point where it is nearly worthless.

Nevertheless, a group of researchers at the carmaker Toyota has found a way to stop this kind of degradation: introduce negatively charged electrons and positively charged lithium ions into the system. Additionally, injection prolongs the batteries’ useful life and simplifies and lowers the cost of recycling procedures. A paper about the discovery was just published in the journal Joule.

How does it work

The scientists’ initial action was to test several potential substances that might cause the recovery reaction. Lithium naphthalenide, which can boost charged particles and recover 80% of the battery’s original capacity, was identified as the ingredient after several experiments.

The method worked well with various battery sizes, and the team reports and the researchers confirmed that the result held over time. Laboratory tests revealed that the battery retains its new capacity after the injection for 100 cycles of charging and discharging.

Nobuhiro Ogihara of Toyota, Inc. Central R&D Laboratories in Japan told New Scientist, “The system’s effectiveness was verified not only with small-size batteries for laboratory use, but also with large-size batteries for automotive use.”

Does not work in all cases

The scientists admit their approach cannot revive batteries whose structural flaws have been harmed. Furthermore, they guarantee that additional research into the reagent compositions and concentrations will be necessary to attain larger capacity recovery effects.

To determine any potential negative consequences of the chemical injection, Jacqueline Edge, an engineering professor at Imperial College London, explains to New Scientist that long-term tests on the performance of the treated battery would also be required.

“It only works for batteries that have suffered a very specific form of degradation, and that is only useful if you know the history of the battery or can diagnose what state it is in using simple, non-destructive methods,” Edge explains. “But it is useful to have a way to restore at least one type of battery.”

A Promising development for the future

Despite the recent advances, quitting internal combustion engines powered by fossil fuels is still critical. As previously mentioned by the experts we spoke with for the short documentary Control Z: Journey to Nowhere, transportation electrification needs to be planned to prevent a possible shortage of battery materials (like lithium), which could negatively affect the environment and people. And reliance on the quasi-monopoly held by China.

Recycling is one way to prevent this, but experts advise using alternate battery technologies instead of those that rely on rare lithium. Systems for recycling batteries need to be revised to meet the demand for the many electric vehicles anticipated in the upcoming years. Because the Japanese research team’s injection eliminates the need for battery disassembly and minimizes the number of processes involved, it is good news for battery recycling.

For this effort, Toyota researchers have already submitted for a patent and have been funded by governmental and commercial entities, including the US Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.

“To recover important raw materials and resynthesize them, the batteries are disassembled as part of the existing recycling process. But it takes a lot of time, money, and effort to complete this procedure,” the team notes in the report. “Our proposal will be a promising low process load technology that can motivate sustainable battery circulation in the future. It reduces CO₂ emissions that cause warming and significantly shortens the battery regeneration process, which reduces energy consumption.”

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as an automobile Engineer and I have worked for an automobile car company for the past 5 years and I love to explain all automotive content through blogging and trying to spread best content for viewers

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