Selective extraction of lithium (Li) and preparation of batterygrade lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) from spent Li-ion batteries in nitratesystem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • Jiangxi University of Science and Technology


In this study, a novel method that allows selective extraction of lithium and production of battery grade Li 2CO 3 is introduced, which includes nitration, selective roasting, water leaching and Li 2CO 3 preparation. By this method, metallic components in Li-ion battery waste are firstly transformed into corresponding nitrates, and then decomposed into insoluble oxides during roasting except for lithium nitrate, which is ready to be extracted by water leaching. Under the optimum conditions of nitration (70 °C, 5 h, acid-to-scrap ratio of 30 mmol/g), selective roasting (250 °C, 1 h) and 4-stage cross-current water leaching (25 °C, liquid-to-solid ratio of 2:1), lithium extraction up to 93% is achieved, whereas extraction of other metals like cobalt, nickel, copper etc. are <0.1%. The obtained lithium-rich solution (34.1 g/L lithium) is then subjected to a carbonation step at 95 °C for 30 min to form the desired Li 2CO 3. The purity of Li 2CO 3 produced is up to 99.95%, a level above the minimum standards required for battery grade Li 2CO 3. Application of this new process could significantly improve lithium recovery from waste Li-ion batteries, as the overall recovery of 90% for lithium achieved is much higher than previously reported lithium recovery of 60–80% from waste Li-ion batteries.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-188
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Secondary resources, Selective extraction of lithium, Waste recycling, High purity Li2CO3, High purity Li CO

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