SPENT LITHIUM ION BATTERIES
Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) have made portable electronics ubiquitous, and they are about to do the same for electric vehicles. The batteries are valuable and recyclable, but because of the technical, economic and other factors, less than 5% are recycled today. The enormousness of the impending spent-battery situation is driving researchers to search for cost-effective, environmentally sustainable strategies for dealing with the vast stockpile of Li-ion batteries looming on the horizon.
Technology for metal extraction from spent Li-ion batteries is relatively more complex and requires lot of efforts at R&D level. Although a great deal of research has been carried out all over the world on the recycling of LIB, the technology and process for recycling LIB mostly remain at the laboratory level because of the complex structure of the spent LIB. Spent Li-ion batteries have high economic value because they contain a significant amount of valuable metals, some with an even higher grade than the metal grade in natural ores.
Hydromet Technology Solutions has developed a process to extract all the metals present in the Li-ion batteries along with the black graphite powder. The process is developed keeping in view that major source of spent Li-ion batteries shall be through electric vehicles having different combination of major metals. Indian Patent for the developed process has already been filed. Hydromet aims to develop toward worldwide commercialization of developed technology.