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Sorting lithium-ion battery electrode materials using dielectrophoresis


  • Jasper Giesler University of Bremen
  • Laura Weirauch University of Bremen
  • Alica Rother University of Bremen
  • Jorg Thöming University of Bremen
  • Georg Pesch University College Dublin
  • Michael Baune University of Bremen



Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are common in everyday life and the demand for their raw materials is increasing. Additionally, spent LIBs should be recycled for achieving a circular economy and supply resources for new LIBs or other products. Especially the recycling of the active material of the electrodes is in the focus of current research. Existing approaches for the recycling (e.g., pyro-, hydrometallurgy or flotation) still have their drawbacks, such as the loss of material, generation of waste, or lack of selectivity. In this study, we test the behavior of commercially available LiFePO4 and two types of graphite microparticles in a dielectrophoretic high-throughput filter. Dielectrophoresis is a volume dependent electrokinetic force that is commonly used in microfluidics but recently also for applications that focus on enhanced throughput. In our study, graphite particles show significantly higher trapping than LiFePO4 particles. The results indicate that nearly pure fractions of LiFePO4 can be obtained with this technique from a mixture with graphite.


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2023-03-02 — Updated on 2023-06-28