CE08 - Matériaux métalliques et inorganiques et procédés associés

Microwave assisted recycling of strategic metals from Li-ion batteries – MiReLIB

Submission summary

The MiReLIB projects aims to improve the hydrometallurgy process to recycle Li-ion battery materials. This the increasing development of electric cars, chemical elements envolved in the composition of mobile energy storage devices are now becoming strategic resources and spent batteries are new urban mining. In the actual recycling process, the oxide particles with composition Li1+x(Ni1/2-yMn1/2-yCo2y)1-xO2 are first leached in aqueous medium. In a second step, some of the obtained ions are selectively extracted in an organic phase. We propose to combine leaching and extraction of strategic cations (Co, Li, Ni, Mn) of the cathode in a single step using a microwave in flux conditions.
The combination of extraction with leaching will help us accelerating particles dissolution through the progressive withdrawing of solubilized ions from aqueous solution. Moreover, aqueous drop containing the particles to be leached are selectively heated under microwave irradiation in an organic flow. The temperature difference and the use of extractant molecules will favor the ion transfer to the organic medium. Within millifluidic channels, the aqueous/organic segmented flow provides an important contact interface, thus accelerating the transfer. Millifluidic also allows online analyses (UV-Visible measurements of solubilize species) and eases solvent separation. Experimental parameters will be optimized to reach sufficient yields for a real use of the process at larger scale. The impact of microwave selective heating will be modelled in order to explain its role in recycling efficiency gain. Using COMSOL software, we will model the first results on microwave assisted selective heating of the water in oil system and on combined leaching-extraction reactions performed in a millifluidic channel homogeneously heated. The build model will help us predicting the best parameters to combine millifluidic leaching-extraction and microwave heating.
Materials to be recycled in the project will first be model particles with known size and composition in order to rationalize the system then we will test real spent batteries materials. In order to limit waste production during the process, we plan to back-strip the metallic ions from the organic phase to reuse it in a new extraction cycle.
The use of several millifluidic channels in parallel in the microwave oven will allow a slight upscale of recycling rates (few kilograms per day). The small size of the setup, its mobility make is appropriate for an urban use closer to the wastes production areas. The efficiency of the obtained recycling process will be evaluated considering its energetic cost the use of chemical reactants and the production of effluents.

Project coordination

Olivier Durupthy (Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Paris)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LCMCP Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Paris
IRCP Institut de Recherche de Chimie Paris

Help of the ANR 418,500 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: February 2019 - 42 Months

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