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Revitalizing batteries by bringing 'dead' lithium back to life


2020 M3 LR AWD
Sep 22, 2020
Los Angeles
Did a search to see if there was a discussion on this already, but it appears this has yet to be discussed.

Latest research findings show that isolated lithium, once thought to be electrochemically inactive i.e. dead lithium, can be reactivated by applying a high current discharge to a battery cell to get it to inch closer and closer to the anode until it eventually reconnects.

"It's like a very slow worm that inches its head forward and pulls its tail in to move nanometer by nanometer," Cui said. "In this case, it transports by dissolving away on one end and depositing material to the other end. If we can keep the lithium worm moving, it will eventually touch the anode and reestablish the electrical connection."

The research team used an NMC cathode battery which is what Tesla uses for the long range and performance battery packs. So, presumptively, should we be able to replicate this study via supercharging and rapid prolonged acceleration; maybe on a dyno or a track setting? Of course we would need to consider factors such as what exactly is a high current discharge, how much do we need to discharge, and if or when it is ideal to do such procedures to reconnect isolated lithium since it will cause further cycling of the battery.

I'm no expert in this field and wanted to see if anyone had a more professional opinion on this and can view the full white paper as it requires a research subscription. Seems like a nice and potentially fun way of getting back some of the battery degradation more permanently.

Source: Revitalizing batteries by bringing 'dead' lithium back to life: Islands of inactive lithium creep like worms to reconnect with their electrodes, restoring a battery’s capacity and lifespan
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