For very similar materials, Wang said, his process could still yield a useful product without completely isolating them from each other. "The innovation for our process is we don't separate those elements; we control the ratio," he said. This way, the recycling setup uses less energy, and manufacturers would not have to recombine materials themselves when they build new batteries.
Researchers at the conference will also be highlighting their work in other aspects of lithium-ion batteries, including developing more efficient electrolytes, structuring components at the nanometer level and figuring out precisely what makes these batteries work at all.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500