As they state, one of the main problems with current lithium-ion batteries is that they are not recycled to the degree that would be needed for the future economics of electrified transportation. In fact, “the lithium-ion battery recycling rate, right now, is just in the single digits.” And, although there are valuable materials in this type of battery, its recovery and obtaining is not only very difficult, but also tends to consume a lot of energy.
There is no doubt that this work marks a really significant progress towards the further development of sustainable recyclable batteries, capable of minimizing dependence on strategic metals, as could be the case with cobalt.
In fact, with the intention of developing recyclable batteries that are also sustainable, the researchers have already begun to work with the aim of using machine learning for the optimization of materials and the structure itself of the battery platform.
Reference: Tan P. Nguyen et al. Polypeptide organic radical batteries, Nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-021-03399-1