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Recycled lithium-ion batteries could last 50 percent longer than new ones, per study

Components like this iPhone battery could potentially last longer if made from recycled parts (Image source: Fixshop.eu)
Components like this iPhone battery could potentially last longer if made from recycled parts (Image source: Fixshop.eu)
A research project by scientists at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute indicates that lithium-ion batteries made from recycled and recovered components could last up to 50 percent longer than those made from "new" materials, potentially encouraging manufacturers to focus more on greener battery options.

A study by researchers at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute indicates that lithium-ion batteries made from recycled and recovered components could last for as many as 50 percent more charging cycles than their counterparts made entirely from pristine materials. 

As part of the project, the researchers took old, shredded batteries and recovered three key metal components for the battery cathode - cobalt, manganese, and nickel, from an acid solution. When reconstituted into a new part, they discovered that, surprisingly, batteries with cathodes made of recycled components were able to handle nearly 4000 additional charges before losing charging capacity, compared to their conventional counterparts. 

This has significant implications for industry. Billions of smartphones are powered by lithium-ion batteries, and the rise of electric vehicles means that demand for raw materials will be even greater. Cobalt, one of the key materials involved in lithium-ion battery production is primarily mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in conditions described as being akin to slavery. A greater focus on recycled batteries could reduce the need for sourcing cobalt from poverty-stricken regions and have a positive impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

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Arjun Krishna Lal
Arjun Krishna Lal - Tech Writer - 600 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2019
I've had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I've gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. Apart from working as an editor at Notebookcheck, I write for outlets including TechSpot and Gamingbolt. I’m the Director of Content at Flying V Group, one of the top 5 digital marketing agencies in Orange County. When I'm not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 11 > Recycled lithium-ion batteries could last 50 percent longer than new ones, per study
Arjun Krishna Lal, 2021-11-11 (Update: 2021-11-11)