Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have driven the industry of rechargeable batteries in recent years due to their advantages such as high energy and power density and relatively long lifespan. Nevertheless, the dispose of spent LIBs has harmful impacts on the environment which needs to be addressed by recycling LIBs. However, none of the currently developed recycling processes is economical. The physical recycling process of LIBs may be economical if the cathode active materials can be separated, regenerated, and reused to make new LIBs. However, the first barrier for regeneration and reusing is the separation of different types of spent cathode active materials in the filter cake that are mixed with each other and come in the form of very fine powders with various sizes (< 30 μm) from the physical recycling process. The aim of this study is to separate the mixture of cathode active materials by adopting Stokes’ law. The focus will be only on mechanical separation with no thermal or chemical separation methods. For the validation, an experiment was designed and successfully performed where different types of spent cathode materials (e.g., LiCoO2, LiFePO4, and LiMn2O4) were separated from the spent anode materials (e.g., graphite) with high efficiency and reasonable time.

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