Reductive Leaching of Metals from Lithium-ion Batteries

T. Lister
Idaho National Laboratory,
United States

Keywords: battery recycling, lithium, lithium batteries, lithium battery, lithium-ion, metal recovery


Overview: This process is an electrochemical process that effectively leaches cobalt and other valuable constituents from Li-ion battery electrodes. A reductant is used to solubilize the metal species in a dilute acid solution. Typical recycling process reactions usually require elevated temperatures and multiple hours for completion. INL’s process helps lower the cost of the recycling process. It uses inexpensive materials and can easily be scaled. It also uses less input chemicals. Both of these translate to lower cost and energy usage. Description: This method has been developed to effectively leach the metal components from Lithium-ion battery electrodes at room temperature in short reaction times. A reductant is used to reduce the metals, which are then solubilized in a dilute acid solution. This method has been extended to an electrochemical process which provides a process for the initial stage of valuable metals recovery from Lithium-ion batteries. Benefits: • 1/3 the cost of current processes • Reduced chemical input provides more environmentally friendly process • Easily Scaled • Inexpensive materials • Room temperature process compared to high temperature current technologies • Lowers acid content • Raises final pH for downstream metal separation/recovery Applications: • Lithium-ion battery recycling • Metal Recovery