Waste management (New York, N.Y.)

Leaching of electrodic powders from lithium ion batteries: Optimization of operating conditions and effect of physical pretreatment for waste fraction retrieval.

PMID 27940079


Experimental results of leaching tests using waste fractions obtained by mechanical pretreatment of lithium ion batteries (LIB) were reported. Two physical pretreatments were performed at pilot scale in order to recover electrodic powders: the first including crushing, milling, and sieving and the second granulation, and sieving. Recovery yield of electrodic powder was significantly influenced by the type of pretreatment. About 50% of initial LIB wastes was recovered by the first treatment (as electrodic powder with size <0.5mm, Sample 1), while only 37% of powder with size <1mm (Sample 2) can be recovered by the second treatment. Chemical digestion put in evidence the heterogeneity of recovered powders denoting different amounts of Co, Mn, and Ni. Leaching tests of both powders were performed in order to determine optimized conditions for metal extraction. Solid/liquid ratios and sulfuric acid concentrations were changed according to factorial designs at constant temperature (80°C). Optimized conditions for quantitative extraction (>99%) of Co and Li from Sample 1 are 1/10g/mL as solid/liquid ratio and +50% stoichiometric excess of acid (1.1M). Using the same solid/liquid ratio, +100% acid excess (1.2M) is necessary to extract 96% of Co and 86% of Li from Sample 2. Best conditions for leaching of Sample 2 using glucose are +200% acid excess (1.7M) and 0.05M glucose concentration. Optimized conditions found in this work are among the most effective reported in the literature in term of Co extraction and reagent consumption.