Efficient Lithium Battery Recycling
The global demand for Lithium Batteries (LiBs) is rapidly increasing due to the electric vehicle, energy storage and portable electronics markets. The waste created by end of life and scrap batteries poses a growing environmental challenge. Therefore, battery recycling is becoming mandatory in many states and nations. LiBs are hazardous to humans and the environment when not disposed off appropriately. In Europe, the EU Battery Directive dictates that producers must recycle or transfer recycling responsibility to third party, while in California, recycling is mandatory.
Material demand from lithium batteries in passenger electric vehicles
LiBs contain valuable raw materials such as nickel, manganese, cobalt and lithium. In contrast to energy-intensive pyrometallurgical recovery circuits, in direct recycling processes the individual battery parts are first shredded, then the material is sieved, allowing to extract the “black mass“.
Depending on the refining process applied the „black mass“ is suspended in a water/electrolyte mixture which needs to be filtered in order to obtain the valuable components and recycle the liquid fraction. The washed and dried cake is fed to a downstream leaching step for further processing.
Different filter cakes depending on material
Pilot test with a FUNDABAC® Filter have been performed to separate the black mass from the hazardous electrolyte mixture. The filter is particularly well suited thanks to its entirely closed design and the fully automatic operation.
Key criteria for selection of the filtration system:
- Entirely closed design suitable for safe handling of the hazardous products
- Properly washed cake with low TOC content
- Low residual moisture of the discharged cake
- Clear filtrate (free of solids)
FUNDABAC® filters have been proven to be the ideal equipment for satisfying these criteria. Furthermore, the use of dynamic filter cloths renders the need for moving or rotating parts completely unnecessary. As a result, capital investment and spare parts cost are reduced considerably. As a matter of fact, only the filtration media, which is made of synthetic fibres has to be replaced after months or even years of operation, depending on type and use.
„Black Mass“ filter cake collected during pilot testing
Why Lithium Carbonate and Why Lithium Hydroxide?
Key advantages of Lithium Hydroxide Battery Cathodes vs. Other Chemical Compounds include better power density (more battery capacity), longer life cycle and enhanced safety features.
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