Processing of Lithium-Ion Batteries for Zero-Waste Materials Recovery

Authored by: D. Marinos , Brajendra Mishra

Sustainability in the Mineral and Energy Sectors

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498733021
eBook ISBN: 9781315369853
Adobe ISBN:


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A review of current lithium-ion battery recycling processes, developed through research, as well as being practiced by industry, has been analyzed. Also, a low-temperature, low-energy method for recovering all the valuable, economically viable, components from the spent lithium-ion batteries has been developed which has allowed the determination of pathways for complete recycling of the battery. Lithium present in the electrolyte has been selectively leached from spent lithium-ion batteries. Leaching conditions were optimized including time, temperature, solid/liquid ratio, and stirring velocity. All the samples were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for chemical composition. Leaching was conducted in a flotation machine that was able to separate plastics by flotation, creating bubbles without the use of any external chemical excess reagents. The pregnant solution was concentrated with lithium to a higher amount in order for it to be precipitated and it was shown that the solution could be concentrated by recirculation of the leach solution. The next set of research was composed of battery shredding, steel separation by magnets, leaching with distilled water, and sizing using wet sieving to account for all the components of the battery. Every fraction is sent to rare-earth rolls separation and eddy-current separation for full recovery.

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