24M introduces Liforever™— Direct-Material recycling process for SemiSolid™ lithium-ion batteries

24M shared the latest innovation in its revolutionary 24M battery technology set — Liforever. Unique to the 24M SemiSolid battery manufacturing platform, Liforever is a direct material recycling methodology for EV and ESS batteries. Liforever reduces the environmental impact of lithiumion batteries by making it efficient and cost-effective to recover and reuse battery materials, including lithium iron phosphate or LFP, both in process and at end-of-life.

“Better battery recycling is essential for a sustainable energy future, but the use of binders in conventional cell production has made direct recycling impractical,” said 24M CEO Naoki Ota. “Liforever solves these challenges by enabling the reuse of nearly every part of the battery cell without requiring the expensive, inefficient and environmentally challenging processes used in conventional cell recycling. These cost savings are further optimized by our streamlined SemiSolid™ technology, which eliminates half of the steps used in conventional cell production.”

Conventional lithiumion cells use expensive and toxic pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical recycling processes that form black mass e-waste, which damages the structure of the anode and cathode materials. Because of this damage and the process’ high cost, less expensive materials like LFP are typically not recycled. Only more expensive metals, most commonly nickel, manganese and cobalt, are extracted from the black mass in their base metal form and reintroduced to the active material production process.

By contrast, Liforever keeps the active materials in their original form and does not create a black mass — something no one else in the industry can do. This enables the low-cost recycling of all active materials from the anode (graphite) and cathode (NMC, LFP, NCA, etc.). After recovery, the active materials undergo a low-cost cleaning and, as needed, re-lithiation to reclaim their original capacity.

As shown in the accompanying chart, 24M has demonstrated Liforever with end-of-life LFP cells, demonstrating for the first time a cost-effective approach to recycle LFP cells.

The Liforever recycling methodology is designed to be compatible with both current and anticipated future recycling regulations, allowing cell manufacturers, EV OEMs and ESS operators to future-proof their battery technology. And because the 24M SemiSolid process is chemistry agnostic, Liforever will support next-generation batteries of all chemistry types building in additional longevity for the technology.