The emergence and dominance of Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in markets such as consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and renewable energy storage are driving enormous interest in the battery sector. The growing demand is generating a huge number of spent Li-ion batteries, thereby urging the development of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable recycling technologies to manage end-of-life batteries.
Scientists have devised a method to identify the unique chemical makeup of every Li-ion battery around the world — information that could accelerate recycling, recover critical materials, and resolve a growing waste stream.
Similar to how plastics are stamped with a recycling code identifying their make-up, Li-ion batteries could be encoded with a Battery Identity Global Passport that could be accessible as a scannable QR code or a computer chip. This method could help recyclers more efficiently locate in-demand materials and accommodate the wide variety of designs used to manufacture Li-ion batteries.
The passport can help recyclers contend with the mixed stream of materials since there currently is no standard cell chemistry for Li-ion battery production.