Recycling of Batteries
Strong efforts are devoted at KTH towards developing energy and resource efficient recovery processes.
The mass electrification of vehicles will soon place a high demand on a few critical natural resources. While it may be possible to extract these elements through mining, it is in the long term financially and environmentally required to also focus on recovering them from used batteries. Our work focuses on developing innovative processes for recycling of lithium ion batteries (LIB) and NiMH batteries. We are currently developing an efficient process for separation of Fe and Al from LIB leach liquor where losses of Co and Ni are minimised. Further, an energy saving process is being developed in which Co, Ni and Mn sulphate salts of high purity are recovered by crystallization. Innovative sorption techniques are also investigated and integrated to reduce impurities and recover valuable elements. We are also investigating the possibility to use deep eutectic solvents in the recycling of battery materials.
The participants have regular contact with industrial representatives to discuss results and assess their applicability (e.g. Northvolt, Scanacon). We are also collaborating with the team at Competence Centre Recycling (CCR) at Chalmers University of Technology.
The work is funded and supported by the Swedish Energy Agency's battery research program, the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (together with VR, Formas and Forte) and EIT Raw Materials.
The work is carried out in collaboration by
, associate professor (Dept. of Chemical Engineering)
Richard T. Olsson , associate professor (Dept. of Fibre and Polymer Technology)
James Gardner , associate professor (Dept. of Chemistry)
Michael Svärd , associate professor (Dept. of Chemical Engineering)