Electrochemical leaching of critical materials from lithium-ion batteries: A comparative life cycle assessment

Birendra Adhikari, Nighat A. Chowdhury, Luis A. Diaz, Hongyue Jin, Apurba K. Saha, Meng Shi, John R. Klaehn, Tedd E. Lister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries (LIB) requires critical materials such as cobalt (Co) and lithium (Li) that are essential for clean-energy products including electric vehicles. Because of their rapidly increasing demand and limited supply, the recycle and reuse of these materials from end-of-life LIB have garnered a lot of interest. Electrochemical leaching has emerged as a sustainable method to extract critical materials out of LIB, so life cycle assessment was conducted to compare the environmental impacts with traditional peroxide-based leaching and another emerging technology – SO2-based leaching. The results showed that electrochemical leaching reduces the global warming potential (GWP) by 80%−87% compared to peroxide-based leaching due to a lower acid consumption, avoidance of hydrogen peroxide, and regeneration of reducing agent iron (II) sulfate and compares well with SO2-based leaching in most impact categories. The analysis suggested renewable energy can further reduce the environment footprint of electrochemical leaching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106973
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Circular economy
  • Environmental impact
  • Peroxide-based leaching
  • SO leaching
  • Value recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrochemical leaching of critical materials from lithium-ion batteries: A comparative life cycle assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this