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Intelligence-assisted predesign for the sustainable recycling of lithium-ion batteries and beyond
Energy & Environmental Science  (IF38.532),  Pub Date : 2021-08-31, DOI: 10.1039/d1ee01812d
Mengting Zheng, Hengky Salim, Tiefeng Liu, Rodney A. Stewart, Jun Lu, Shanqing Zhang

The unprecedented consumption of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) is occurring to meet the needs of modern transportation electrification. Recycling-friendly designs intrinsically facilitate the long-term sustainable utilization of natural resources, reducing the detrimental impacts of spent LIBs on the environment, and improving the economic viability of recycling. For this, we propose the incorporation of an intelligence-assisted predesign strategy into the battery-management system and battery chemistry, including ameliorating the traceability of battery structure and operation status, promoting cost-effective material sorting and separation, and adopting sustainable battery materials. The purposeful predesign of intelligent “Reuse–Refurbish–Recover” (3R) LIBs could be realized in an economically and environmentally sustainable (EES) manner. The intelligence-assisted predesign strategy will promote multi-disciplinary cooperation in a systematic and synergetic way; in addition, it will empower governments to establish and implement a series of regulations and standards for addressing the environmental pollution issues from spent batteries, thus avoiding the ever-increasing consumption of natural resources.