Recently, the School of Metallurgy of NEU has made new progress in the study of lithium electricity recycling. It had a research paper titled Recycling Spent Lithium-ion Batteries Using Waste Benzene-containing Plastics: Synergetic Thermal Reduction and Benzene Decomposition published in the Environmental Science & Technology (EST), a top journal in the field of environmental science. NEU is the first author unit of the paper, Qiu Baolong, a doctoral student of 2021 from the School of Metallurgy of NEU is the first author, and Prof. Yin Huayi is the only corresponding author.
The development of the new energy industry needs a large number of lithium-ion batteries, while spent lithium-ion batteries will cause environmental pollution and waste of resources. In view of the above problem, Yin Huayi's team put forward the strategy of recycling spent lithium-ion batteries using waste plastics as reducing agents, aiming to develop an efficient, green and clean path for recycling lithium-ion battery positive materials and benzene-containing plastics. According to the strategy, closed reactor co-pyrolysis and reduction process are used to reduce and destroy the crystal structure of positive electrodes of lithium batteries by using benzene-containing plastic pyrolysis gas as a reducing agent. The reduced lithium positive electrode material also acts as a catalyst to catalyze the efficient degradation of benzene-containing waste gas, thus realizing the synergistic recycling of lithium positive electrode material and waste plastics-containing benzene.
In recent years, Prof. Yin Huayi's team has carried out a series of basic researches on lithium battery recycling, and developed such recycling technologies as salt roasting recycling method (Green Chem. 2023, 25, 2992; Green Chem. 2021, 23 (21), 8673; Cleaner Prod. 2021, 279, 123633; J. Power Sources. 2020, 474, 228596; ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng. 2020, 8, 6524), carbon thermal reduction recycling method (Waste Manage. 2019, 97, 140), biomass pyrolysis recycling method (ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng. 2022, 10, 1287), and electrolysis recycling method (Green Chem.2022, 24 (16), 6179; J. Hazard. Mater. 2022, 424, 127586; J. Hazard. Mater. 2019, 379, 120817; Environ. Res. 2019; ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng. 2019, 7 (15), 13391). Additionally, in collaboration with Prof. Lawrence Yoon Suk Lee's research team at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, they transformed spent lithium iron phosphate materials into highly active monatomic oxygen reduction catalysts (ACS Energy Lett.2023, 8, 4, 1652). So far, they have had more than 20 papers published and have been granted 5 patents, providing theoretical and technical support for the recycling and utilization of valuable metals in the new energy industry. Their work has received support from the Talent Project of Revitalizing Liaoning (XLYC 1807042) and the Special Funds for Basic Operating Expenses of Central Universities (N2025034, N2025035).
Paper link: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.2c09816