Local team inventing cutting edge way to recycle Lithium Ion batteries

0
159


Local team inventing cutting edge way to recycle Lithium Ion batteries


Hide Transcript
Show Transcript

CHANGE HOW BATTERIES ARE REUSED. MIKE: LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES ARE EVERYWHERE. THEY POWER YOUR CELL PHONE AND THE NEWEST ELECTRIC HYBRID VEHICLES. BUT THEY ONCE THEY GO BAD, THEY’RE DIFFICULT TO RECYCLE. A TEAM AT WPI IS CHANGING THAT. WHEN A RECYCLER RECEIVES A LOAD OF SPENT BATTERIES, THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT IS INSIDE, SO OUR INVENTION ALLOWS US RECYCLE ANY KIND OF LITHIUM BATTERY. MIKE: MECHANICAL ENGINEERING PROFESSOR YAN WANG AND A FORMER STUDENT HAVE DEVELOPED A BREAKTHROUGH PROCESS TO REUSE WHAT’S INSIDE THE BATTERIES. THE LITHIUM BATTERY IS DISCHARGED, THEN SHREDDED. LEAVING ALL KINDS OF POLYMERS, PLASTIC, AND STEEL. SOME HAVE VALUE. COPPER WILL GET ABOUT THREE DOLLARS A POUND. BUT THE REAL GOLD IS IN THIS BLACK POWDER. >> MAJOR VALUE IS HERE. MIKE: IT CONTAINS NICKEL, COBALT AND MANGANESE, AND IS WORTH ABOUT 50 DOLLARS A POUND. BUT IT’S FULL OF IMPURITIES AND USUALLY JUST THROWN AWAY. >> WE DISSOLVE THE CATHODE POWDER INTO AN ACID SOLUTION AND THAT IS HOW WE GET THIS BEAKER OF SOLUTION. MIKE: THERE IS MORE TO THIS PROCESS, INCLUDING SWIRLING IN THIS REACTOR FOR EIGHT HOURS. FROM HERE THE SUSPENSION IS FILTERED AND EVENTUALLY GOES TO A FURNACE, WHERE IT’S COOKED AT 800 DEGREES CELSIUS. OUT OF THE OVEN COMES A REFINED CATHODE MATERIAL. READY TO BE USED IN NEW BATTERIES COME IN MANY WAYS, A BETTER BATTERY. >> THE BATTERY CAN BE SMALLER, LIGHTER, AND CHEAPER. MIKE: THE CEO OF BATTERY RESOURCES IN WORCHESTER TELLS US THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO FIGURED OUT HOW TO REMOVE THOSE IMPURITIES. >> IT IS NOT A LOW-GRADE MATERIAL WHICH IS WHAT MANY PEOPLE THINK OF WHEN THEY THINK OF RECYCLED MATERIAL. OUR CATHODE IS A PREMIUM PRODUCT. MIKE: AND THAT PRODUCT AND THIS PROCESS ARE ATTRACTING BIG ATTENTION. WE HAVE INTEREST FROM BATTERY COMPANIES, MINING COMPANIES, VEHICLE OEM COMPANIES, ANYONE WHO IS USING LITHIUM ION BATTERIES IS PAYING ATTENTION. ED: THAT WOULD BE US. WE ARE USING THOSE FOR EVERYTHING NOW. MIKE: THAT IS THE ISSUE COMING UP. THEY ARE LOOKING AT THE RAW MATERIAL EXPIRING IN 50 YEARS. AT THE SAME TIME, WE WE NEED MORE OF THOSE BATTERIES. IT IS AN INTERESTING THING. THIS LOOKS LIKE IT IS WORKING. THIS COULD BE REVOLUTIONARY. ED: THE DEVICES I H

Local team inventing cutting edge way to recycle Lithium Ion batteries

Lithium Ion batteries are in everything these days, but they’re not easy to recycle when they die. This invention changing that.

Lithium Ion batteries are in everything these days, but they’re not easy to recycle when they die. This invention changing that.



Original Source

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.