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This article was published on May 5, 2021

    Brainboxes find new way to revive dead lithium-ion batteries

    It's called 're-lithiation'

    Brainboxes find new way to revive dead lithium-ion batteries
    Ioanna Lykiardopoulou
    Story by

    Ioanna Lykiardopoulou

    Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives. Ioanna is a writer at SHIFT. She likes the transition from old to modern, and she's all about shifting perspectives.

    Scientists led by Finland’s Aalto University have a found a way to revive lithium-ion batteries and to facilitate their reuse, pv magazine reports.

    “Re-lithiation” explained

    The process, called “re-lithiation,” aims tο reverse the gradual loss of lithium which accounts for the battery’s performance loss. 

    Through an electrolysis process the scientists managed to rejuvenate lithium in battery electrodes, and then compared the performance of the “refreshed” electrodes with those from a brand new battery.

    According to the results, the re-lithiation process succeeded, and the capability and recharge capacity of the old battery were almost the same as in brand new ones.

    The advantages

    This doesn’t really mean that a revived battery can replace a new one, but that it can potentially reduce the cost and complexity from recycling battery components and materials. 

    The current methods, which deal with a degraded battery structure, require expensive and energy-consuming processes to separate and purify the materials before they can be reused.

    “By reusing the structures of batteries we can avoid a lot of the labor that is common in recycling and potentially save energy at the same time,” explained Aalto University professor Tanja Kallio.


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