Professor Emma Kendrickis a materials chemist whose research focuses on new battery materials and technologies. Prior to joining us, she was Chief Technologist in energy storage at Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd (SLE) where she established the energy storage research and development program in sodium ion batteries and then she moved to WMG where she focused on developing new lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery technologies, that can be manufactured and tested at a scale that is industrially meaningful.
WS2:Cells to Materials
The core materials recovery team at Birmingham and Leicester will focus on developing and improving its materials recovery techniques and establishing materials flow through the project to WS3. ReLiB has identified three diverse materials streams that will present different challenges and offer different opportunities to recyclers: shredded (mixed) cells, dismantled cells and production scrap. WS2 will target work on fast delamination of EoL electrodes and production scrap, selective leaching and new low cost, low temperature direct recycling/upcycling routes, which will be essential to maintain the value of the active materials streams, particularly for low cobalt cathode chemistries including nickel-rich (LNO) and, increasingly, lithium iron phosphate (LFP). EoL cells, particularly those that may have had extended service in first and/or second life, present additional problems as the active materials are no longer as they were at cell formation: they and other important components such as electrolyte, binder and additives, will have been significantly degraded. ReLiB will use facilities such as its newly commissioned EUCAR7-rated safety and testing chamber (UoB) to characterize cells fully at the end of first and second life. This work is essential to underpin safe recycling practices (including the safe management of faulty or damaged batteries). It will include spatially resolved characterization of EV EoL cells to validate non-destructive testing; recovery and characterization of used LIB electrolyte, and assessment of its potential for low T recovery/repurposing/re-use; and characterization of reclaimed, recycled and remanufactured material to optimize reclamation protocols. Bio-recovery work at Edinburgh will be supported for one year to investigate Co/Ni selectivity (with Liverpool until end June 2021), exploit synthetic biology to improve (i) Shewanella and (ii) Desulfovibrio performance; and scale up engineered cell line(s), with a view to benchmarking against other approaches.