Dr Zhenzhen Wu

Griffith University congratulates Dr Zhenzhen Wu on her $280,000 Australia’s Economic Accelerator (AEA) Seed Grant for the lithium-ion battery recycling and reclamation project.

Dr Wu, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow from Griffith’s School of Environment and Science and Centre for Catalysis and Clean Energy, said the grant will assist in helping combat the growing problem of lithium-ion battery (LiB) waste.

“It’s concerning Australia has annually generated approximately 3,300 tonnes of LiB waste since 2016,” Dr Wu said.

“What’s even more worrying is forecasts indicate an alarming annual growth rate of 20 per cent, and could even skyrocket to between 137,000 and 180,000 tonnes per year by 2036.

“Unfortunately, Australia’s LiB recycling rate is quite low at just 10 per cent despite as much as 95 per cent of recycled LiB components can be reintegrated into the battery supply chain or repurposed across various industries.

“By not recycling, a plethora of harmful chemicals are being released into the environment through landfill.”

The $280,000 will be used to support Griffith’s industry partner, ENVIROforce, to advance battery recycling technology to higher levels.

“The knowledge gained from this project will be instrumental in validating and shaping the operational model and system design specifications essential for a functioning plant,” Dr Wu said.

“With the assistance of Griffith Enterprise, it will also yield invaluable pre-commercialisation insights to propel, scale up and ensure the sustainable implementation of LiB recycling technology across Australia.”

13: Climate Action
UN Sustainable Development Goals 13: Climate Action