Lithium Ion Battery Recycling

Recover valuable metals by recycling batteries economically

From electronics to electric vehicles, the world increasingly runs on lithium ion technology. Recycling lithium ion batteries closes the loop on valuable production materials including lithium, cobalt, and nickel. Saltworks’ advanced water processing and resource extraction technologies contribute to multiple parts of the battery recycling flow.

automotive industry wastewater icon

RECYCLE ELECTRIC

VEHICLE BATTERIES

Harvest Metals From Wastewater Icon

HARVEST DISSOLVED

METALS AS SOLIDS

Reduce Chemical Treatment Icon

REDUCE CHEMICAL 

TREATMENT

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EXTREME ECONOMICS WITH A CHILLED CRYSTALLIZER

Recycling Lithium Ion Batteries 

As major auto manufacturers rapidly shift from the combustion engine to lithium ion batteries, the economics of lithium ion battery recycling are swiftly changing:

  • Increasing supply as both the size and quantity of available end-of-life batteries grow
  • Increasing demand for valuable, reusable components
  • Technological developments in chemical processes and automation.

In particular, the extraction and recovery of valuable metals such as cobalt (Co) and nickel (Ni) are promising. On top of our success in lithium extraction and refining applications, Saltworks’ chemical, membrane, and thermal technologies can also add value to lithium ion battery recycling operators. 

lithium ion electric vehicle battery
recycle lithium from lithium ion batteries
recycle cobalt from lithium ion batteries
recycle nickel from lithium ion batteries

Valuable Metals, Sulfuric Acid & Sulfates

To recover valuable metals such as cobalt and nickel, some operators

  • mechanically break down spent batteries into a battery powder of cathode and anode materials
  • leach metals from the powder using sulfuric acid and a reducing agent
  • precipitate the resulting metal sulfates as solids

With valuable metals now in solution, Saltworks’ smart chemical conversion processes help recover ions of value, while our SaltMaker family crystalizes the solids. During the process, we help clients recover clean water for re-use.  

Recycling Battery Nickel: Membrane ZLD

The SaltMaker ChilledCrys system selectively precipitates metal sulfates that have a steep temperature-solubility curve, such as nickel sulfate. It also recovers sodium sulfate from wastewater.  

 

If recycling metals from lithium ion batteries, ChilledCrys can continually separate and remove water and nickel sulfate solids, achieving zero liquid discharge (ZLD) without expensive chemical consumption or evaporation processes.

chilled crystallizer PFD
Vapcomp mvr evaporator PFD

SaltMaker VapComp MVR

The SaltMaker VapComp is a forced circulation MVR that concentrates recovered brines and crystalizes solid products from solution. Built-in self-cleaning ensures reliability at optimal capacity, while producing a high purity solid product.

 

We can engineer an MVR into your total process flow, including consideration of upstream membrane and chemical systems. 

Wastewaters & Acid Reuse

After recovering the high value components of spent lithium ion batteries, most operators will be left with a complex wastewater that requires treatment. We can help with that too, even recovering freshwater and acid while we do it. Our electrodialysis reversal system, FlexEDR, outfitted with proton selective IonFlux Membranes, recovers and purifies acid, reducing chemical costs and waste.

 

Saltworks is focused on helping lithium ion battery recycling operators recover more metals, and improve their purity and yields. To learn more, contact our lithium industry experts.

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Lithium Ion Battery Recycling Related Products

SaltMaker ChilledCrys Chilled Crystallizer

ChilledCrys concentrates water, extracts solid salt, and repeats the cycle using a novel UHP-RO system. By avoiding the use of evaporation, it achieves zero liquid discharge with considerable energy efficiency savings. More ...

XtremeRO/NF Brine Concentrator

Next-generation water-maker and brine-concentrator based on reverse osmosis that achieves extreme freshwater recoveries, enabling cost-effective brine management and treatment of challenging organic-laden waters including oil & gas produced waters. More ...

XtremeUF Ceramic Ultrafiltration System

An ultra-robust ceramic based ultrafilter that can remove suspended solids, oils, and grease from the most challenging slurries & impacted wastewaters. XtremeUF cleans as it operates, to ensure your membranes maintain performance. More ...

SaltMaker VapComp Evaporator Crystallizer

Compact and only requires power to operate. Combines Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR) technology with robust system design, solids management, and self-cleaning automation. More ...

Lithium Ion Battery Recycling Related Resources

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Lithium Extraction and Refining

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