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Researchers demonstrate selective lithium recovery from spent lithium iron phosphate batteries

A team at Beijing University of Chemical Technology has generated a method for selective lithium recovery using lithium iron phosphate batteries. As reported in the journal Power Sources, they used a formic acid-hydrogen peroxide system for targeted leaching of lithium ions from these batteries.

A team from Beijing University of Chemical Technology achieved optimal extraction conditions through single-factor optimization including a formic acid concentration of 0.8 mol/L, a solid-liquid ratio of 50 g/L, an initial hydrogen peroxide volume fraction of 8%. , a temperature of 60°C, and a reaction time of 1 hour. That is, under these conditions, lithium extraction reached 99.9%, while iron extraction was only 0.05%.

Multi-factor response surface experiments verified the optimal extraction conditions, and results from both methods were highly consistent. Using sodium carbonate precipitation from leach filtrate in Zeiss, the primary precipitation efficiency of lithium products reached 85.05% and 99.9% purity.

In this study, formic acid, an organic acid less corrosive, green, easily decomposed and less polluting than inorganic acids, was used as a leaching agent, and hydrogen peroxide was also used as an oxidizing agent. But the authors noted that the proposed recovery technique offers the advantages of simplicity, small-scale processes, excellent performance, high lithium selectivity without iron ion co-extraction, and high purity of lithium carbonate.

Researchers demonstrate selective lithium recovery from spent lithium iron phosphate batteries

The electric vehicle market has expanded rapidly in recent years due to rapid technological advancements and national policies supporting electric vehicles. Current automotive applications primarily include lithium cobalt oxide (LCO), lithium iron phosphate (LFP), and ternary lithium batteries (also nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) and nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA)). LFP batteries are known for their low cost and good cycle capacity, high stability and environmental friendliness.

As of approximately 2021, LFP batteries accounted for 51.7% of total installed capacity. But LFP batteries typically have a service life of 5 to 8 years, so a large number of these batteries will become available for decommissioning and recycling. It has been estimated that by 2025 the mass of batteries in use is likely to reach 400 kt.

The rapid development of the lithium-ion battery market has made lithium resources scarce. Because LFP batteries are rich in lithium resources at the end of their life, effective recycling of spent LFP batteries can reduce the depletion of lithium resources and generate substantial economic benefits.

Researchers demonstrate selective lithium recovery from spent lithium iron phosphate batteries

In this study, formic acid, an organic acid less corrosive, green, easily decomposed, and less polluting than inorganic acids, was used as a bleaching agent, and hydrogen peroxide was used as an oxidizing agent. The authors reiterated that the proposed recovery technology also offers the advantages of simplicity, excellent performance in small-scale processes high lithium selectivity, and high purity of lithium carbonate without iron ion co-extraction.

The optimal extraction conditions were obtained through single-factor optimization which were formic acid concentration 0.8 mol/L, solid-liquid ratio 50 g/L, initial hydrogen peroxide concentration 8%, temperature 60°C and reaction time 1 h.

Multi-factor response surface experiments validated these optimal extraction conditions, and results from both methods were highly consistent but by using sodium carbonate precipitation from the leach filtrate, the primary precipitation efficiency of lithium products reached 85.05% and 99.9% purity.

Source: Green Car Congress via chargedevs

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