There is no doubt that e-mobility will become a tremendous driving force for our future life. High demand for advanced materials in the batteries as well as political pressures in terms of collection and recycling rates raise the need for an extensive recovery of critical elements and a more sustainable use of raw materials. This Special Issue aims to make significant progress in designing innovative processes and understanding related mechanisms in the context of battery recycling. Although we expect the majority of papers to address the latest scientific achievements in the area of lithium-based systems, the entire range from lead, to nickel–metal–hydride, to high-temperature vanadium sodium cells is covered by this compilation. Of special interest are concepts for future post-Li-systems including all solid-state cell designs. We are not focusing on consumer behavior, collection, legal, and regulation issues and market development. Papers dealing with automized disassambly/dismantling, sensor-based sorting, new concepts for comminution and classification, thermal conditioning, innovations in hydro- and pyrometallurgical processing, safety aspects regarding recycling processes, post-mortem analysis with regards to cell chemistry changes, as well as mass flow analysis and optimization models for recycling efficiency are welcome.
The idea of a circular economy is the point of origin for contributions, aiming at minimizing of waste streams and promoting re-use/recirculation of components, functional materials as well as elements. In order to minimize material losses and energy consumption, this Issue explores concepts for optimization concerning the interfaces between mechanical and thermal pre-treatments with metallurgical processes. Considering both principle aspects of circular economy and material design, the topics of special interest are those concerning recovery and re-use of critical metals like lithium, since their importance for technological applications often goes along with a lack of supply on the world market. This Special Issue follows the 2020 issue.