Characterization of Aged Li-Ion Battery Components for Direct Recycling Process Design

Shriram Santhanagopalan, Kaitlin Fink, Julia Hartig, Lei Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus Citations


Novel nondestructive recycling methods for lithium ion batteries (LIBs) are under investigation but lack the process engineering specifications required for full-scale operation. Specifically, the ability of end-of-life LIB components to withstand the stresses inherent in industrial manufacturing techniques has not been established. In this paper, we mechanically characterize the electrodes of both fresh and “cycle-aged” (C-A) cells, and couple this with electrochemical analysis to establish reprocessing requirements in the context of roll-to-roll (R2R) direct recycling. Cycle-aging is found to significantly reduce the tensile strength of electrodes and C-A cathodes reach elastic deformation at a lower strain than do fresh cathodes. This implies that both roll tension and calendering force may need to be reduced for C-A components relative to fresh components to avoid irreversible damage. Electrochemical analysis suggests that phase change and buildup of electrolyte residues at both the primary particle and in the inter-particle pore space may contribute to cathode degradation. The combination of these mechanical and electrochemical findings is crucial to informing the process design of industrial-scale nondestructive LIB recycling methods.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)A3775-A3783
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-75651


  • aging effects
  • batteries
  • degradation
  • lithium batteries
  • mechanical testing


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