Designing new batteries with end-of-life in mind can improve recyclability. But to keep the batteries marketable, the center collaboration must develop new designs that trade minimal loss in energy-density performance for the ability to use cheaper, new recycling processes at end of life.

The center collaboration will explore new designs for wound, prismatic, and pouch cells that will enable them to be flushed clean of materials at end-of-life and refilled for use as reconstituted components in new batteries. To aid this, new cell geometries will be designed and tested to enable the flush-and-fill concept.  A rinse system will be flowed through cathode and anode to renew the surface before adding a new electrolyte. Binder systems that are easily dissolvable, non-toxic, and scalable will be explored.

Figure 1

Figure 1

One potential new configuration is shown here of a multiple cell designs with added external port(s) or oversized packaging of cells for injecting fresh electrolyte and rinsing SEI on the aged electrodes. This could aid the flowability of solution (i.e., electrolyte) in spent cells for rejuvenation.