Joint recovery of graphite and lithium metal oxides from spent lithium-ion batteries using froth flotation and investigation on process water re-use

Aliza Marie Salces*, Irina Bremerstein, Martin Rudolph, Anna Vanderbruggen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) contain critical raw materials that need to be recovered and recirculated into the battery supply chain. This work proposes the joint recovery of graphite and lithium metal oxides (LMOs) from pyrolyzed black mass of spent LIBs using froth flotation. Since flotation is a water-intensive process, the quality of the aqueous phase directly impacts its performance. In pursuit of an improved water-management strategy, the effect of process water recirculation on black mass flotation is also investigated. The fine fraction (<90 µm) of the black mass from pyrolyzed and crushed spent LIBs was used. After flotation, 85% of the graphite in the overflow product and 80% of the LMOs in the underflow product were recovered. After flotation with 8 wt% solids, the process water contained about 1,000 mg/L Li and accumulated up to 2,600 mg/L Li after three cycles. The flotation with process water showed no significant impact on the recovery and grade of flotation products, suggesting the feasibility of water recirculation in black mass flotation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107670
Number of pages8
JournalMinerals Engineering
Volume184
Early online date11 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Black mass
  • Froth flotation
  • Lithium metal oxide
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Recycling
  • Spheroidized graphite
  • Water recirculation

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