Process for Rejuvenation of Spent Lithium-ion Battery Cathodes
Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have been the preferred portable energy source in recent decades. The tremendous growth in the use of LIBs has resulted in a great number of spent LIBs. Disposal of these spent LIBs will cause serious environmental problems due to hazardous components such as heavy metals and electrolytes. Materials contained in the spent LIBs are valuable resources and could be recycled by proper technologies. Current methods are not suitable for LIB recycling due to slow process, low purity of the products (low profits) and the use of non-environmental friendly leaching reagents.
The proposed LIB recycling technology is based on a co-precipitation process and control system which can process various types of spent LIBs including lithium cobalt oxide (LCO), lithium manganese oxide (LMO), lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) and lithium nickel cobalt aluminium oxide (NCA). The co-precipitation method allows the recovery of cathode metal salts in their original form, without separation of the metal elements. The obtained metal salts could then serve as the precursor for synthesis of new cathode material.
In summary the process recovers the following products at more than 99% purity levels: (a) graphite and (b) cathode metal salts e.g. LiCo1/3Ni1/3Mn1/3O2, NiCO3, MnCO3, CoC2O4, and Li2CO3.
The technology provider is seeking a partner who is willing to fund the prototype development and become an early adopter of the technology. Preferably, the partner should have access to spent LIB sources to support the trial.