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25.03.2024 •

Reviving spent lithium-ion batteries: The advancements and challenges of sustainable black mass recovery


Ideally, once batteries reach their end-of-life, they are expected to be collected, dismantled, and converted into black mass (BM), which contains significant amounts of valuable metals. BM can be regarded as a sort of urban mine, where recyclers extract and reintroduce the materials into new battery manufacturing. Focusing on BM, this article discusses the necessity of BM recovery and current recycling situations. Although the benefits of recycling are widely acknowledged, many challenges and issues remain. The BM market is still in its infancy and relevant regulatory frameworks need to be updated with respect to the widespread use and advancement of lithium-ion batteries. Current BM producing and processing technologies are gaining momentum and still have room for large improvements in terms of economic feasibility and environmental footprint. Finding solutions for these challenges in the end requires efforts from both researchers and industrial stakeholders with growing interests and long-term patient engagement. Battery regulations and legal support are highly anticipated for industries to keep high levels of commitment to long-term investments.

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Battery Energy