Ultrasonic identification technique in recycling of lithium ion batteries

Michiel Postema 1, 2, 3, Satyajit Phadke 2, 4, Anthony Novell 3, Rustem Uzbekov 5, 6, Cuthbert Nyamupangedengu 1, Meriem Anouti 4, Ayache Bouakaz 3

1 WITS - University of the Witwatersrand [Johannesburg]
3 iBrain - Inserm U1253 - UNIV Tours - Imagerie et Cerveau
4 PCM2E - Physico-chimie des Matériaux et des Electrolytes pour l'Energie
5 UNIV Tours - Plateforme IBISA de Microscopie Electronique [CHRU de Tours]
6 MSU - Lomonosov Moscow State University


The recycling of lithium ion batteries has been mentioned as one of the near-future waste management necessities. In order for recycling to be economically viable, straightforward and cost effective techniques need to be developed to separate the individual materials in a composite electrode. Ultrasonic separation might be such a technique, provided that lithium ion battery microparticles respond predictably to a sound field. Lithium ion battery cathodes contain hydrophobic carbon. Owing to the incompressibility of a solid, the thin gaseous layer surrounding these hydrophobic particles must oscillate asymmetrically, when subjected to ultrasound. Consequently, the harmonic content of the ultrasound signal radiated from hydrophobic microparticles must be higher than that from hydrophilic microparticles with the same size. The question of whether the harmonic signal response generated by physical hydrophobic microparticles present in lithium ion battery cathodes is higher than the harmonic response of other component materials in the cathode is the focus of this paper. The scattering response of cathode materials subjected to 1-MHz ultrasound was measured and compared. The cathode materials C65, PVDF, and NMC respond differently to 1-MHz ultrasound. The superharmonic response of C65 has been attributed to asymmetric oscillations owing to its hydrophobicity. In addition, C65 hydrophobic microparticles might be suitable candidates for harmonic imaging.


Lithium ion battery recycling
Cathode material identification
Cathode separation
Harmonic imaging
Ultrasonic particle manipulation