The Quick-Release Binder, from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Co-developer OnTo Technology, is a fully reversible binder for Li-ion batteries, allowing quick cathode and anode material recovery in aqueous media, for direct recycling. This binder is made of two commercially available low-cost chemicals: polyacrylic acid (PAA) and polyethyleneimine (PEI). Both chemicals can also be recycled and reused. The Quick-Release Binder solves a major challenge of materials recovery for Li-ion battery direct recycling. Li-ion batteries are widely used for electric vehicles and grid storage; therefore, an economical, green recycling process is essential for recycling the spent batteries. The current recycling process, which includes shredding, grinding, and pyrolysis of the materials, is energy intensive and has a large environmental footprint. The Quick-Release Binder eliminates these processes, as well as the production of toxic gases, by using water processes for manufacturing and recycling. All battery components simply dissociate in pH-adjusted water and are easily recovered and reprocessed.
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