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Effective Upcycling of Graphite Anode: Healing and Doping Enabled Direct Regeneration

  • Author(s): Markey, Brandon;
  • Zhang, Minghao;
  • Robb, Iva;
  • Xu, Panpan;
  • Gao, Hongpeng;
  • Zhang, Dawei;
  • Holoubek, John;
  • Xia, David;
  • Zhao, Yifan;
  • Guo, Juchen;
  • Cai, Mei;
  • Meng, Ying Shirley;
  • Chen, Zheng
  • et al.
Abstract

As lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) become vital energy source for daily life and industry applications, a large volume of spent LIBs will be produced after their lifespan. Recycling of LIBs has been considered as an effective closed-loop solution to mitigate both environmental and economic issues associated with spent LIBs. While reclaiming of transition metal elements from LIB cathodes has been well established, recycling of graphite anodes has been overlooked. Here, we show an effect upcycling method involving both healing and doping to directly regenerate spent graphite anodes. Specifically, using boric acid pretreatment and short annealing, our regeneration process not only heals the composition/structure defects of degraded graphite but also creates functional boron-doping on the surface of graphite particles, providing high electrochemical activity and excellent cycling stability. The efficient direct regeneration of spent graphite by using low cost, non-volatile and non-caustic boric acid with low annealing temperature provides a more promising direction for green and sustainable recycling of spent LIB anodes.

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