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Producing Clean and Sustainable Lithium Through Recycling
With the retirement of massive amount of end-of-life lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), proper disposal of the hazardous wastes and cost-effective valorisation of useful materials have become increasingly pressing and attracted extensive attention worldwide. The state-of-the-art recycling technologies, which are generally based on hydrometallurgy or pyrometallurgy methods, have critical issues of enormous chemicals and energy consumption, secondary pollution and tedious effluent treatment procedures.
Based in Singapore, the technology owner has developed an electrochemical process for the recycling of spent lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries. The electrochemical process uses a proprietary redox reaction involving a regenerative electrolyte mix at room temperature conditions to separate LFP cathode material into its components, iron phosphate and pure lithium in the form of lithium hydroxide, at a recovery rate of more than 95% and purity levels above 99% for both materials. This translates into cost savings, reduces wastewater generation and pollution, as well as the ability to reduce waste to landfills.
Given the use of regenerative chemical reagents, the process is up to 100x less pollutive and up to 10x more profitable compared to existing recycling technologies. The technology owner is currently seeking battery recycling industry partners to adopt or license the technology and support pilot testing of the technology.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
- Recycling system is of modular design that allows rapid scale-up and lower capex needed compared to competitors. To double the processing capacity, the system only requires approximately 10% more footprint.
- No secondary pollution and low-cost process thanks to the use of reusable/regenerative chemicals. Estimated up to 120 kWh required per tonne of LFP black mass processed.
- Up to 99.9% purity of battery grade lithium hydroxide can be produced.
- Lithium-ion battery recyclers.
- Battery grade lithium hydroxide can be use in the manufacturing of new lithium batteries, such as Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) and Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) batteries.
- Eliminate secondary pollution and reduce chemical consumption of battery recycling facility.
- Improved product quality, e.g. produces battery grade material.