There is a large amount of non-renewable with high economic value, such as cobalt, lithium, nickel, copper, aluminum, etc. It can not only decrease the pollution from waste battery, but also avoid wasting the metal resources of cobalt, nickel, etc. by recycling the waste or unqualified lithium ion batteries.
Ktkbofan Energy New Material Co. Ltd in Changzhou has cooperated with college and founded a research group based on the support from Jiangsu teachers University of technology, Jiangsu rare metal process technology and application key laboratory. Its research topic is recycling valuable metal from waste lithium ion battery. After three-year research and development, it has solved the issues of complicated manufacture, long process, environmental dangers from organic solvent, shortened technological process, decreased power consumption, improved the metal recycle rate, purity and recovery, which makes the achievement of annual 8000 ton waste lithium ion battery fully-enclosed recycling and application.
This project belongs to solid waste resource utilization. The technical principle is segregating and recycling nonferrous metals by hydrometallurgical extraction, including leach, solution purification and concentration, solvent extraction, etc. It also produces the elemental metal product by electrometallurgy technique (electrodeposition).
The technique steps are: pretreatment on waste lithium ion battery at first, including discharging, disassembling, smashing and sorting. Then recycle the plastic after disassemble and iron outer. Extract the electrode materials after alkaline leaching, acid leaching and refining.
Extracting is the key step separating copper from cobalt and nickel. Then the copper is put into the electrodeposition slot and produces electro deposited copper production. Extract again after extraction of cobalt and nickel. We can get cobalt salt and nickel salt after crystallized concentration. Or take the cobalt and nickel after extraction into electrodeposition slot, then make electro deposited cobalt and nickel products.
The recoveries of cobalt, copper and nickel on electro-deposition process are 99.98%, 99.95% and 99.2%～99.9%. Both cobaltous sulfate and nickel sulfate products have reached relevant standard.
Have scale-expansion & industrialization research and develop on the optimized research achievement, set up a fully enclosed clean production line of waste lithium ion battery with annual recovery of over 8000 tons, recycle 1500 tons cobalt, 1200 tons copper, 420 tons nickel, which is totally cost over 400 million yuan.
It is said that there is no hydrometallurgy at home. It is also seldom seen in foreign countries. Maybe we can try to take this method into wider application.
This achievement plays a leading role on national waste Li ion battery recycling, and successfully supplements the energy storage. Compared with other battery enterprises, it has apparent advantages included environmentally friendly, low cost and high profit.
It can integrate and simply the technological process by hydrometallurgy, which has low energy consumption but high product recovery.