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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

A Combined Pyro- and Hydrometallurgical Approach to Recycle Pyrolyzed Lithium-Ion Battery Black Mass Part 1: Production of Lithium Concentrates in an Electric Arc Furnace

1
IME Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling, Institute of RWTH University; Intzestraße 3, 52056 Aachen, Germany
2
Institute of Recycling Technologies, Faculty of Materials, Metallurgy and Recycling, Technical University of Košice, Letna 9, 042 00 Košice, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2020, 10(8), 1069; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10081069
Received: 15 July 2020 / Revised: 2 August 2020 / Accepted: 5 August 2020 / Published: 7 August 2020
Due to the increasing demand for battery raw materials such as cobalt, nickel, manganese, and lithium, the extraction of these metals not only from primary, but also from secondary sources like spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) is becoming increasingly important. One possible approach for an optimized recovery of valuable metals from spent LIBs is a combined pyro- and hydrometallurgical process. According to the pyrometallurgical process route, in this paper, a suitable slag design for the generation of slag enriched by lithium and mixed cobalt, nickel, and copper alloy as intermediate products in a laboratory electric arc furnace was investigated. Smelting experiments were carried out using pyrolyzed pelletized black mass, copper(II) oxide, and different quartz additions as a flux to investigate the influence on lithium-slagging. With the proposed smelting operation, lithium could be enriched with a maximum yield of 82.4% in the slag, whereas the yield for cobalt, nickel, and copper in the metal alloy was 81.6%, 93.3%, and 90.7% respectively. The slag obtained from the melting process is investigated by chemical and mineralogical characterization techniques. Hydrometallurgical treatment to recover lithium is carried out with the slag and presented in part 2. View Full-Text
Keywords: lithium-ion battery; recycling; cobalt; nickel; circular economy; lithium minerals; lithium slag characterization; thermochemical modeling; critical raw materials; smelting lithium-ion battery; recycling; cobalt; nickel; circular economy; lithium minerals; lithium slag characterization; thermochemical modeling; critical raw materials; smelting
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sommerfeld, M.; Vonderstein, C.; Dertmann, C.; Klimko, J.; Oráč, D.; Miškufová, A.; Havlík, T.; Friedrich, B. A Combined Pyro- and Hydrometallurgical Approach to Recycle Pyrolyzed Lithium-Ion Battery Black Mass Part 1: Production of Lithium Concentrates in an Electric Arc Furnace. Metals 2020, 10, 1069.

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