Yaocai Bai

Yaocai Bai

R&D Staff Scientist

Yaocai Bai is an R&D Staff Scientist within the Emerging and Solid-State Batteries Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Yaocai’s research focuses on accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy through materials innovation and developing sustainable processes for lithium-ion battery recycling. Yaocai's specific interests include lithium-ion battery manufacturing and recycling, where he leads the Advanced Resource Recovery research thrust in DOE's ReCell center, as well as catalyst development for metal-air batteries and electrolyzers.  Yaocai has extensive research experience in materials synthesis, energy conversion and storage, and battery recycling, in which he has published ~60 peer-reviewed journal articles and holds eight patent applications with four granted.

09/2012 – 03/2017  Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering 

University of California, Riverside

09/2010 – 07/2012  M.S. Materials Science and Engineering

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia

09/2006 – 06/2010 B.S. Material Chemistry 

University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China

1.    Ilias Belharouak, Yaocai Bai, Rachid Essehli. Recovery of materials from electrode scraps and spent lithium-ion batteries via a green solvent-based separation process. US 11,664,542 B2, US Patent, granted May 30, 2023.
2.    Yaocai Bai, Ilias Belharouak, Rachid Essehli. Direct recycling of lithium-ion battery anode scraps for manufacturing a new anode. US 11,721,850 B2, US Patent, granted Aug. 8, 2023.
3.    Ilias Belharouak, Yaocai Bai, Jianlin Li, Rachid Essehli. Efficient recovery processes for the black mass from spent lithium-ion batteries. US 11,916,206 B2, US Patent, granted Feb. 27, 2024
4.   Huimin Luo, Sheng Dai, Tao Wang, Ilias Belharouak, Jianlin Li, Yaocai Bai. Direct regeneration of lithium ion cathodes by ionothermal relithiation. US 11,996,557 B2, US Patent, granted May 28, 2024 
5.    Ilias Belharouak, Yaocai Bai, Rachid Essehli, Jianlin Li. Relithiation process for direct regeneration of cathode materials from spent lithium-ion batteries. 17/363,272, US Patent App.
6.    Ilias Belharouak, Yaocai Bai. Method of recycling materials from lithium-ion batteries. 17/706,981, US Patent App.    
7.    Jianlin Li, Yaocai Bai, Mengya Li, David Wood. Synthesis of transition metal layered oxide materials for battery cathodes. 17/548,838, US Patent App.
8.    Ilias Belharouak, Yaocai Bai, Rachid Essehli. Recovery of materials from spent batteries using a green solvent. 17/551,395, US Patent App.