Recycling of the cathodes, based on carbon nanotubes and conducting polymers, from spent rechargeable Li batteries

Project Director: Dr. Mihaela BAIBARAC

Project ID: CONTRACT No. 13 din 01/03/2024
Project Director: Dr. Mihaela Baibarac
Project Type: International
Project Program: COFUND-LEAP-RE-RCLIB-1
Funded by: Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, UEFISCDI
Contractor: National Instiute of Materials Physics
Start Date: 1 March, 2024
End Date: 28 February, 2026
Project Abstract:

Development in the field of rechargeable Li batteries (RLIBs) and supercapacitors (SCs) has seen rapid growth as a consequence of the demand for electric vehicles and of various devices such as wind turbines, hybrid energy storage systems for the installation of photovoltaic devices, etc. However, end-of-life (EoL) battery components induce a new environmental challenge, requiring their collection, disposal and recycling/reuse to avoid further environmental pollution. The innovation in this project envisages the life cycle analysis of novel emerging cathodes containing carbon nanotubes (CNs) & conducting polymers (CPs) from RLIB and the development of new ways for the recycling of the constituents of the cathodes at EoL. The main objectives of this project are: a) the collecting of spent RLIB, having the CP/CNs composites as electrode materials; b) the recovery of the cathode and the separation of spent electrode constituents, i.e. the CPs/CNs composite (CPs is CP in semi-doped state), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), CN-Li+, CP in undoped state (CPu), LiCl, LiFP6 and super P carbon (C); c) the development of various strategies for improvement of physico-chemical properties of the CP/CNs/PVDF, CP/CNs and CP/oxidized CN (OCN) composites, e.g. by the protonic acid doping of CP, the chemical polymerization of monomers in the presence of CN, OCN, and the fibers resulted by the electrospinning; the first two methods will allow to transform CPs or CPu into CP in doped state (CPd); d) synthesis of the CP/Biochar/CNs composites and their characterization; and e) the applications of the prepared composites as electrodes for SC cells & RLIB using both classical methods and electrospinning and comparison of the obtained performance. The methodology and working plan involve the following stages: a) charge/discharge galvanostatic tests of RLIBs to ensure that the cathode based on the CP/CNs composite is at EoL and subsequent its collection; b) separation of the spent electrode constituents, i.e. CPs, PVDF, CNs and super P C, by chemical methods and their optical and structural characterization; c) preparation of new electrodes from CP, PVDF, CNs & super P C, and their testing in the SC cells & RLIB; and d) optimization of SCs & RLIBs, using prepared composites from the cathodes of spent RLIBs. To implement this methodology, we will employ: a) charge/discharge galvanostatic measurements, b) cyclic voltammetry; c) electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; d) Raman scattering, e) IR spectroscopy, f) X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, g) X-ray diffraction, h) scanning electron microscopy, j) transmission electron microscopy, k) contact angles, l) thermogravimetry, etc. The stakeholder involvement will be: a) NIMP – the preparation of new composites, resulting from the chemical polymerization of monomers in the presence of CN & OCN, their characterization and the electrospun fibers as well as testing in SC cells & RLIB; b) CITST - electrospun fibers from CP/CN/PVDF blends and exploitation aspects; c) UM6P, UCA & UBMA - testing of the electrodes containing CPd resulted by the protonic acid doping and their hybrids, in RLIB & SC cells; and d) INFN - testing of composites, resulted by chemical polymerization of monomers in the presence of CN and OCN as well as the fibers. The expected impact consists of: a) development of a new technology for the separation of the spent cathodes constituents at EoL; b) access to recyclable technology with impact on environment, for the beneficiaries from AU and EU ; c) development of new SC cells & RLIB, using recycled compounds from spent RLIB; c) formation of new experts in the field of energy storage and wastes management to aid the transition from linear to circular economy; d) the knowledge/technological transfer, which will strengthen the cooperation between the participating institutions, having a direct benefit on the energy security of each country, enabling waste management in the field of energy storage.

A. Partners list

B. NIMP Project Team

  • Dr. Mihaela Baibarac

  • Dr. Ion Smaranda

  • Dr. Andreea Nila

  • Dr. Malvina Stroe

  • Dr. Adelina Udrescu

  • Dr. Mirela Vaduva (Ilie)

  • Dr. Elena Matei

  • Dr. Catalin Negrila

  • PhD student Monica Daescu (Dinescu)

  • PhD student Cristina-Stefania Florica

  • Andreea Gabriela Androne

  • PhD student Teodora Burlanescu

  • PhD student Radu Constantin Cercel

  • PhD student Madalina Chivu

  • PhD student Mirela Andreea Paraschiv (Cristea)

  • Tech. Ion Lutea

  • Open-position


1) Composites based on polydiphenylamine and multi-wall carbon nanotubes functionalized with carboxyl acid groups for applications in energy storage, C.S. Florica, M. Dinescu, I. Smaranda, M. Vaduva, A. Nila, O. Cramarius, S. Bellucci, M. Baibarac,ROCAM 2024 - 10th International conference on Advanced Materials 15-18 Jyly, Bucharest, Romania;

2) Investigation of the electrospinning parameters on the manufacture of PVDF nanofiles, D.C. Nastac, O. Cramariuc, M. Baibarac, ROCAM 2024 - 10th International conference on Advanced Materials 15-18 Jyly, Bucharest, Romania;

3) Sustainable energy solutions: developing supercapacitors with activated carbon from Italian orange waste, S. Bellucci, RICCCE 23 – 23rd Romanian International Conference on chemistry and Chemical Engineering, 4-7 September 2024, Constanta-Mamaia, Romania.

4) Keynote speaker Prof. I. Saadoune at Internaitonal conference on energy in Africa, national, regional and local energy Mix, EAMix 2024, UM6P-Benguerir, May 14-16, 2024, Morocco

Patent applications


Project Contact Person: Dr. Mihaela Baibarac

Phone: +40-212418112

Fax    : +40-21369 0177



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