The electrification of transport and the associated increase in the use of lithium-ion batteries is leading to growing raw material demand, which may result in raw material shortages and soaring material costs in the future.
In this context, solid-state batteries (SSBs) are promising next-gen batteries that can be used as high-performance energy storage systems and score with advantages such as increased lifetime, energy density and safety compared to today’s lithium-ion batteries. For successful development and establishment of the polymer SSB system in the market, possible supply chains have to be identified and sustainability over the life cycle has to be achieved. With this context in mind, recycling and reuse is an essential component of a climate-neutral energy system. The implementation of the targeted circular economy enables cost-effective and sustainable production, which can only be achieved with efficient recycling processes.
In this contribution, a possible adaptation of processes for early development of mechanical recycling processes for polymer-SSB is shown. The different structure of the polymer SSB requires the recombination of existing process steps but also integration of new processes.
This work presents that the use of conventional mechanical processes such as shredding and screening in combination with wet process steps allows a simple and robust separation of the comminuted battery materials. Advantageous about this process route is the possible early recovery of lithium, which will gain great importance in the near future. Furthermore, the cathode active material can be separated in a gentle way within this process route to be reused as recyclate. The results obtained are compared by means of TGA, XRD, ICP-OES and SEM, among others, and impurities caused by process design are identified.