Lithium Australia has developed processes to recover metals from spent lithium-ion batteries, with nickel and cobalt recoveries estimated at 90 per cent.
Lithium recoveries of about 85 per cent have also been achieved in test work undertaken with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).
The announcement from Lithium Australia on September 19, explained that based on the Lithium Australia’s internal process modelling, the technologies generate lithium phosphate of 99.9 per cent purity.
Lithium Australia explained, in a statement, that establishing a supply stream based on recycled battery will help facilitate lithium-ion batteries sustainability, avoid batteries being consigned to landfill and pave the way for the re-birthing of battery materials.
The company aims to produce high-purity lithium phosphate as a precursor for the production of cathode materials. This will be accomplished using the company’s proprietary lithium phosphate refining process.
Commercial investigation by Lithium Australia also found a potential to develop a nickel/cobalt concentrate as an alternate feed source for conventional refining.
The ability to recover and refine the lithium in spent lithium-ion batteries will help improve commercial recycling processes, according to Lithium Australia.
The company intends to rebirth the lithium from spent lithium-ion batteries by incorporating it into new lithium iron phosphate batteries.