Sustainable value chain of retired lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles

Yang Hua, Sida Zhou, Yi Huang, Xinhua Liu, Heping Ling, Xinan Zhou, Cheng Zhang, Shichun Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have been widely used in electric vehicles due to the advantages of high energy/power densities, high reliability and long service life. However, considering that a massive number of LIBs will likely retire and enter the waste stream in the near future, the handling of end-of-life LIBs must be taken carefully. The effective utilization of retired LIBs, which still remain about 70–80% of the initial capacity, can extend battery life, conserve natural resources and protect the environment. Herein, this review provides a systematic discussion on the circular value chain (CVC) of spent LIBs, and proposes a 5R principle entailing reduce, redesign, remanufacturing, repurpose and recycling in the CVC process. Then the state-of-the-art technologies for remanufacturing, and a thorough summary of key issues and applications of repurpose process, are presented in detail. Subsequently, this article presents a comprehensive discussion on the recycling process, including pre-treatments and mainstream recycling technologies, from the prospects of technical, economic and regulation perspectives. Advanced technologies such as big data, block chain and cloud-based services, as well as the improvement of regulation and standardization processes, are required to solve the issues. Finally, the future challenges and prospects for sustainable CVC are highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Article number228753
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Early online date22 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFB0100300), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.U1864213)


  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Recycling
  • Repurpose
  • Remanufacturing
  • Circular value chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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