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Recovering Lithium from the Cathode Active Material in Lithium-Ion Batteries via Thermal Decomposition
National Institute of Technology, Sendai College, 48 Nodayama, Medeshima-Shiote, Natori, Miyagi 981–1239, Japan
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Shimo-Shidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 463-8560, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2020, 10(4), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10040433 (registering DOI)
Received: 20 February 2020 / Revised: 23 March 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
In this study, calcination tests were performed on a mixed sample of lithium cobalt oxide and activated carbon at 300–1000 C under an argon atmosphere. The tests were conducted to discover an effective method for recovering lithium and cobalt from the cathode active material used in lithium-ion batteries. Additionally, the effect of soluble fluorine on the purification of lithium carbonate was investigated by the addition of lithium fluoride to an aqueous lithium hydroxide solution and a CO2 flow test was performed. The lithium recovery was ≥90% when the calcination occurred at temperatures of 500–600 C. However, the percent recovery decreased at temperatures ≥700 C. It was demonstrated that in order to increase the recovery while maintaining 99% purity of lithium carbonate in the recovered material, it was imperative to increase the temperature of the solution and to limit the F/Li ratio (mass%/mass%) in the solution to a value that did not exceed 0.05.
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