Pre-lithiated Graphite from Recycled Li-ion Batteries

Tech ID: 22271 / UC Case 2012-074-0

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
Patent Cooperation Treaty Published Application WO2018169830 09/20/2018 2012-074

Brief Description

Currently Li-ion battery recycling returns less than 10% of the original battery value. In addition, much of the non-recycled components are discarded in landfill. Li ion battery technology is expected to grow to a $30B industry in the next 5-10 years. In large part this will be driven by the introduction of electric vehicles. A conservative estimate for the number of electric vehicles by 2015 is one million. To address this challenge, investigators at University of California at Berkeley have developed a method of producing pre-lithiated graphite from recycled Li-ion batteries. This offers an opportunity to introduce novel materials into Li ion battery technology at a very large scale. For example, a typical electric vehicle battery uses a 30kWhr battery, which will need 30kg of anode material. In the case of graphite, this could represent a cost opportunity of ~$500 per vehicle. This invention can provide graphite at a minimum savings of 10% by increasing the performance of the graphite through re-manufacturing. For the first time, this innovation allows for the extraction of the components of a Li-ion battery for complete recycling, and in the case of the anode, re-manufacturing of graphite. This is accomplished by opening cells at a specific state of degradation and under specific conditions. The unique process allows for a specific level of pre-lithiation to be reached and achieving a suitable anode material for specific applications of Li-ion batteries, e.g. high power, high energy, novel anodes, etc. The unique feature of this invention is that the graphite is both re-manufactured (and thus re-used) as an anode, as well as a source of pre-lithiation.

Suggested uses

  • High energy, high powered anodes
  • Complete recycling of Li-ion batteries


  • Re-manufacturing of graphite
  • Tunable levels of pre-lithiation


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  • Liu, Gao
  • Minor, Andrew

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