Innovative recycling of organic binders from electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction
Journal article, 2021

The growing demand for energy storage devices due to the skyrocketing production/consumption of portable electrical and electronic equipment as well as electric vehicles has promoted battery technologies, resulting in the piling of a large number of waste lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). Organic binders wrapped on electrode particles are usually the main reason that causes the difficulty of liberation and extraction of electrode materials. Pyrolysis or incineration is the general approach to separate the organic binder, leading to fluorinated exhaust gas emissions. In this study, the supercritical carbon dioxide (SC CO ) combined with a cosolvent dimethyl sulfoxide was innovatively adapted to enable the extraction of organic binders from spent LIBs to facilitate the liberation of the cathode material from aluminum foil. Pure polyvinylidene fluoride was preferentially used to study the SC CO dissolution mechanism. The results indicate that 98.5 wt% polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) dissolves in SC CO dimethyl sulfoxide system under the optimum conditions; 70°C process temperature, 80 bar pressure, and 13 min duration. After removing PVDF, the recovered sample was characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) and thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) to observe its possible re-utilization. It is clear that the surficial chemical groups and content remained the same after treatment. SC CO processing effectively liberates the active cathode material from the aluminum substrate due to removal of the binder. The suggested innovative approach is promising as an alternative pretreatment method due to its high efficiency, relatively low energy consumption, and environmentally friendly features.


Cathode material

Supercritical CO 2

Dimethyl sulfoxide

Lithium-ion batteries


Yuanpeng Fu

China University of Mining and Technology

Jonas Schuster

Technical University of Hamburg (TUHH)

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Energy and Material

Martina Petranikova

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Energy and Material

Burcak Ebin

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Energy and Material

Resources, Conservation and Recycling

09213449 (ISSN) 18790658 (eISSN)

Vol. 172 105666

Development of innovative supercritical fluid technology for stepwise recycling of organics, electrolyte and electrodes from Li-ion battery waste

Swedish Energy Agency (50124-1), 2020-09-01 -- 2023-08-31.

Subject Categories

Chemical Process Engineering

Materials Chemistry

Other Chemical Engineering


Chalmers Materials Analysis Laboratory



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4/2/2022 6