TECH OFFER

Recycling of Spent Lithium-ion Battery Materials

KEY INFORMATION

TECHNOLOGY CATEGORY:
Waste Management & Recycling - Industrial Waste Management
Manufacturing - Chemical Processes
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TECHNOLOGY READINESS LEVEL (TRL):
LOCATION:
Singapore
ID NUMBER:
TO174610

TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have been the preferred portable energy source in recent decades. However, disposal of these spent LIBs causes serious environmental problems because the batteries are made of hazardous components such as heavy metals and electrolytes. Current recycling method for LIBs are energy intensive, costly, generate harmful emissions while having poor recovery rate of the valuable metals. Therefore, there is a need for a low cost, environmentally friendly recovery method that can achieve high yield for the critical battery materials.

This technology offer is a highly versatile recycling method for LIBs that directly converts crushed LIBs material (black mass) into ready-to-use battery-grade cathode materials. This direct conversion is based on proprietary hydrometallurgical co-precipitation method and allows for the skipping of the production of mixed precious metal salts and immediately produces reusable battery-grade cathode materials. Furthermore, there is no need for pre-sorting and a mixture of LIBs materials with different chemistries can be processed in a single batch. These includes lithium cobalt oxide (LCO), lithium manganese oxide (LMO), lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) and lithium nickel cobalt aluminium oxide (NCA). The production outputs are battery-grade NMC hydroxides (622/532/111/811), and the by-products may include lithium carbonate and sodium sulphate. Lastly, adoption of this technology allows for up to 4x increment in recycling profits and a cost recovery period of <1 year.

The technology owner is seeking industry partners to license and adopt the technology, preferably companies with an interest to invest in or build a LIB recycling plant.

TECHNOLOGY FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS

This technology offer is a highly versatile LIBs recycling method. The features and specifications of the technology are as follows:

  • Direct conversion of black mass into battery-grade cathode materials (via hydrometallurgical co-precipitation method)
  • Applicable for all types of LIBs (LCO, LMO, NMC, LFP)
  • One pot process (Able to handle mixture of LIBs; No pre-sorting required)
  • Tunable battery-grade NMC outputs (622/532/111/811)
  • No toxic discharge and landfill needs (8x less carbon footprint)
  • 4x increment in recycling profits
  • <1 year cost recovery period
  • Suitable for adoption in new or exisiting recycling facilities

POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS

The uses of this technology are for industries who are interested in LIBs recycling. The potential applications are:

  • Improve and enhance traditional battery recycling facilities or for new recycling facilities
  • Production and sale of ready-to-use battery-grade cathode materials (6x cheaper than smelted or mined precious metals)

Market Trends & Opportunities

11 million metric tons of LIBs are expected to reach the end of their service lives between now and 2030. 30 - 40% of the LIBs contains valuable cathode materials but only <5% of LIBs are currently recycled. This technology will be able to tap onto this servicable market.

Unique Value Proposition

  • Immediate production of battery-grade NMC cathode materials from any spent LIBs (no sorting requirement)
  • No toxic discharge
  • Lowered manufacturing cost of battery (recycled metals 6x cheaper than those mined or smelted)
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