Lithium Batteries / silabob, ShutterstockThe Fraunhofer Institute in Germany has received $1.5 million to recover more materials from used lithium ion batteries.

The goal of the project, called NEW-BAT, is to find a way for valuable materials to be reintegrated into the battery supply chain.

The funding comes from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

According to a press release, only certain elements are recovered from lithium ion recycled batteries under the current process. Lithium metal oxides and other carbon compounds are not recovered but could be, and would therefore save energy and money during the manufacturing process.

Researchers have already discovered one way to do that. Shockwaves created under water or another liquid will loosen materials, making it easy for them to be separated and sorted.

Because recycled properties can degrade, researchers are also working on ways to sustain the charge and life of the recycled materials.