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Faster battery recycling using ultrasound

KTH researcher Xiong Xiao in laboratory.
KTH scientist Xiong Xiao uses ultrasound in combination with acetic acid and citric acid, instead of sulfuric acid, to extract the metals from the batteries. Photo: Peter Ardell, KTH
Published Oct 12, 2021

As the electrification of society increases, so does the amount of used batteries that need to be recycled. Researchers at KTH have developed a new method to recycle valuable metals from used lithium batteries.

Is it possible to extract metals from a lithium battery in half the time it normally takes? Is it possible to use acids that are common in most homes worldwide for the extraction process? The answer is yes. Researchers at CBH have discovered a way.

In a scientific article published by the journal Green Chemistry, Xiong Xiao, a postdoc at the Division of Polymeric Materials at KTH, explains how it works using ultrasound.

“We perform the metal extraction in half the time it normally takes and we take out more metal ion than normally reported in scientific literature. In the extraction process we use mild acids such as acetic acid and citric acid instead of sulfuric acid, which is very beneficial from a work environment and sustainable development point of view,” says Xiong Xiao.

Read the full version of this text by Peter Ardell

For more information, contact Xiong Xiao  at or 070 - 077 56 59

Belongs to: School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH)
Last changed: Oct 12, 2021