This series of papers addresses the recycling of cathode particles and aluminum (Al) foil from positive electrode sheet (PE sheet) dismantled from spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) by applying a high-voltage pulsed discharge. As concluded in Part I of the series (Tokoro et al., 2021), cathode particles and Al foil were separated in water based on a single pulsed power application. This separation of LIB components by pulsed discharge was examined by means of prospective life cycle assessment and is expected to have applications in LIB reuse and recycling. The indicators selected were life cycle greenhouse gas (LC-GHG) emissions and life cycle resource consumption potential (LC-RCP). We first completed supplementary experiments to collect redundant data under several scale-up circumstances, and then attempted to quantify the uncertainties from scaling up and progress made in battery technology. When the batch scale of pulsed discharge separation is sufficiently large, the recovery of cathode particles and Al foil from PE sheet by pulsed discharge can reduce both LC-GHG and LC-RCP, in contrast to conventional recycling with roasting processes. Due to technology developments in LIB cathodes, the reuse of positive electrode active materials (PEAM) does not always have lower environmental impacts than the recycling of the raw materials of PEAM in the manufacturing of new LIB cathodes. This study achieved a proof of concept for resource consumption reduction induced by cathode utilization, considering LC-GHG and LC-RCP, by applying high-voltage pulsed discharge separation.
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