Technology Features & Specifications
1. Extraction of valuable metals from lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) and lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) battery chemistries.
2. For LCO, the leaching efficiencies of >90% were obtained for both cobalt (15% wt of cathode) and lithium.
3. Aluminium foil and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) binder can be recovered separately.
4. The deep eutectic solvent can act as both an effective leaching and reducing agent, eliminating the need for supporting chemicals and processes to achieve metal extraction
1. Consumer electronics - e.g. LCO batteries.
2. Transportation, i.e. electric vehicles - e.g. NMC batteries.
3. Other electronic waste recycling, e.g. mining industries.
Market Trends and Opportunities
LIB lifetimes barely surpass 3 years in consumer electronics and 5-10 years in electric vehicles. Large number of spent LIBs are expected to be generated, with 500,000 metric tonnes predicted from China alone by 2020. The LIB recycling market is expected to grow with more than 50 companies with facilities dedicated to LIB recycling to date.
Environmental-friendly biodegradeable solvents that are non-toxic to humans can still effectively extract metals of interest. They are therefore safer to use than traditional corrosive solvents and high-temperature incinerators which require not only extensive safety procedures for workers but also scrubbing facilities to manage the effluent waste and toxic fumes that off-gas from these methods.