The recharge, reuse, recycle revolution

Many batteries of different shapes and sizes.

How can we build a sustainable, circular economy that’s much easier on the environment? The University of Adelaide’s Professor Zaiping Guo and Professor David Lewis will explore this innovative area on Tuesday 8 November at the last Research Tuesdays lecture for 2022.

To reach net zero emissions by 2050, the world needs sustainable energy solutions, including two billion electric vehicles on the roads. However, one Tesla requires eight kilograms of lithium for its batteries.

Reaching our goal will require a lot of lithium mining - mining that’s depleting vital water supplies. As the metal is also needed for batteries in laptops, mobile phones, planes, trains and bikes, is there even enough lithium on Earth?

Perhaps not in the ground. But what if there was another solution? ‘Urban mining’ is the process of extracting resources from electronic waste. University of Adelaide researchers believe our path forward must utilise these stockpiles.

If we can recover valuable metals from e-waste and use them to create next-generation batteries with upgraded safety and cycle life, and high recyclability, we’ll be on our way to a sustainable, circular economy that’s better for the environment.

So, is it possible? Join the University of Adelaide’s experts to find out.

Professor Zaiping Guo is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow in the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials at the University of Adelaide. She received the NSW Premier's Prize for Science & Engineering in 2020 and the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher Award in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Professor David Lewis is head of the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials at the University of Adelaide. He has worked on multiple Australian Research Council (ARC) projects in lead and partner investigator roles, and managed renewable energy start-up Muradel Pty Ltd.

WHAT: Research Tuesdays: Recharge, reuse, recycle
WHEN: Tuesday 8 November, 5.30pm start. For in-person attendance the doors will open at 5.10 pm
WHERE: The Braggs Lecture Theatre, University of Adelaide, North Terrace.
COST: Free (registration for webinar and in-person attendance).
REGISTER FOR IN-PERSON: Search ‘Research Tuesdays’ in Eventbrite.

WATCH A RECORDING LATER: A recording will be available on the Research Tuesdays Series YouTube within 24-48 hours after the event. This YouTube channel also has recordings of previous Research Tuesdays, including topics like ‘Hydrogen Headway’ and ‘Three Minute Thesis 2022’.

Tagged in featured story, research, Research Tuesday, environment, recycling, battery, batteries, sustainability