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.
METALS AS SOLIDS
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.
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.
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.
Lithium Ion Battery Recycling Related Products
SaltMaker ChilledCrys Chilled Crystallizer
XtremeRO/NF Brine Concentrator
XtremeUF Ceramic Ultrafiltration System
SaltMaker VapComp Evaporator Crystallizer
Lithium Ion Battery Recycling Related Resources
Convention teaches that ZLD requires energy-intensive boiling to produce solids. Our engineers recently broke that convention and helped a mining client achieve solid salt production in a novel membrane-chiller hybrid plant using UHP-RO.
Recovering lithium in evaporation ponds can take a year or more and leaves behind lots of salt waste, but there are new technologies and processes that offer exciting options for lithium extraction.