Scientific American: Recycled Lithium-Ion Batteries Can Perform Better Than New Ones

Ascend Elements' Hydro-to-Cathode technology featured in Scientific American

Ascend Elements co-founder Yan Wang was featured in Scientific American on Feb. 1, 2022. The article takes a deep dive into the lithium-ion battery recycling process Wang invented at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The technology is now used by Ascend Elements and called the Hydro-to-Cathode™ process.

A recently published study in the scholarly journal, Joule, found new cathode material made using Prof. Wang’s innovative recycling process works as well or even better than similar cathode made with newly mined metals.

“Wang and his colleagues compared the particles in their recycled cathode powder with those in commercially manufactured cathode powder (largely made from newly mined minerals). They found that the recycled powder particles were more porous, with particularly large voids in the center of each one. These characteristics provide room for the cathode crystal to swell slightly as lithium ions squeeze into it, and this wiggle room keeps the crystal from cracking as easily as cathodes built from scratch. Such cracking is a major cause of battery degradation over time.”

Read more at Scientific American.