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Environmental Engineering Research 2020;25(1): 88-95. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2018.392
Recycling of end-of-life LiNixCoyMnzO2 batteries for rare metals recovery
Rabia Sattar, Sadia Ilyas  , Sidra Kousar, Amaila Khalid, Munazzah Sajid, and Sania Iqbal Bukhari
Mineral and Material Chemistry Lab, Department of Chemistry, University of Agriculture Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
Corresponding Author: Sadia Ilyas ,Tel: +92-041-92000764, Email: sadiailyas1@yahoo.com
Received: November 6, 2018;  Accepted: February 13, 2019.
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An investigation of rare metals recovery from LiNixCoyMnzO2 cathode material of the end-of-life lithium-ion batteries is presented. To determine the influence of reductant on the leach process, the cathode material (containing Li 7.6%, Co 20.4%, Mn 19.4%, and Ni 19.3%) was leached in H2SO4 solutions either with or without H2O2. The optimal process parameters with respect to acid concentration, addition dosage of H2O2, temperature, and the leaching time were found to be 2.0 M H2SO4, 4 vol.% H2O2, 70°C, and 150 min, respectively. The yield of metal values in the leach liquor was > 99%. The leach liquor was subsequently treated by precipitation techniques to recover nickel as Ni(C4H7N2O2)2 and lithium as Li2CO3 with stoichiometric ratios of 2:1 and 1.2:1 of dimethylglyoxime:Ni and Na2CO3:Li, respectively. Cobalt was recovered by solvent extraction following a 3-stage process using Na-Cyanex 272 at pHeq ~5.0 with an organic-to-aqueous phase ratio (O/A) of 2/3. The loaded organic phase was stripped with 2.0 M H2SO4 at an O/A ratio of 8/1 to yield a solution of 114 g/L CoSO4; finally recovered CoSO4.xH2O by crystallization. The process economics were analyzed and found to be viable with a margin of $476 per ton of the cathode material.
Keywords: Lithium-ion battery | Precipitation | Rare metals | Recycling | Solvent extraction
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