Worth from waste: Utilizing a graphite‐rich fraction from spent lithium‐ion batteries as alternative reductant in nickel slag cleaning

Anna Danczak*, Ronja Ruismäki, Tommi Rinne, Lassi Klemettinen, Hugh O’Brien, Pekka Taskinen, Ari Jokilaakso, Rodrigo Serna‐Guerrero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

One possible way of recovering metals from spent lithium‐ion batteries is to integrate the recycling with already existing metallurgical processes. This study continues our effort on integrating froth flotation and nickel‐slag cleaning process for metal recovery from spent batteries (SBs), using anodic graphite as the main reductant. The SBs used in this study was a froth fraction from flotation of industrially prepared black mass. The effect of different ratios of Ni‐slag to SBs on the time‐dependent phase formation and metal behavior was investigated. The possible influence of graphite and sulfur contents in the system on the metal alloy/matte formation was described. The trace element (Co, Cu, Ni, and Mn) concentrations in the slag were analyzed using the laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma‐mass spectrometry (LA‐ICP‐MS) technique. The distribution coefficients of cobalt and nickel between the metallic or sulfidic phase (metal alloy/matte) and the coexisting slag increased with the increasing amount of SBs in the starting mixture. However, with the increasing concentrations of graphite in the starting mixture (from 0.99 wt.% to 3.97 wt.%), the Fe concentration in both metal alloy and matte also increased (from 29 wt.% to 68 wt.% and from 7 wt.% to 49 wt.%, respectively), which may be challenging if further hydrometallurgical treatment is expected. Therefore, the composition of metal alloy/matte must be adjusted depending on the further steps for metal recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number784
Number of pages25
JournalMinerals
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Battery recycling
  • Circular economy
  • Froth flotation
  • Pyrometallurgy

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