METHOD FOR THE HYDROMETALLURGICAL RECOVERY OF LITHIUM FROM THE LITHIUM MANGANESE OXIDE-CONTAINING FRACTION OF USED GALVANIC CELLS
The invention relates to a method for the hydrometallurgical recovery of lithium from the lithium manganese oxide-containing fraction of used galvanic cells.
View as Search Results
|Method for removing iron from iron-containing solution and method for recovering valuable metals|
Patent #US 10,443,111 B2
Current AssigneeJX Nippon Mining Metals Corporation
Sponsoring EntityJX Nippon Mining Metals Corporation
|Method of and apparatus for dismantling and storage of objects comprising alkali metals, such as alkali metal containing batteries|
Patent #US 20030180604A1
Current AssigneeBATREC INDUSTRIE AG
Sponsoring EntityBATREC INDUSTRIE AG
|Catalyst recovery process from tar from carbonylation reactions|
Patent #US 4,434,241 A
Current AssigneeEastman Chemical Company
Sponsoring EntityEastman Kodak Company
- 1-9. -9. (canceled)
- 10. A method for hydrometallurgical recovery of lithium from the fraction of used galvanic cells containing lithium manganese oxide, comprising the steps of:
adding the fraction containing lithium manganese oxide with a particle size up to 500 μ
m to oxalic acid in a hyper-stoichiometric amount relative to the manganese content in the lithium manganese oxide and is solubilized in a solid/liquid ratio in the range of 10 to 250 g/l at temperatures from 30 to 70°
separating lithium-containing solution formed; and washing remaining residue is washed at least twice; wherein the separated lithium and lithium-containing washing solution are combined, the dissolved manganese residue content is reduced by precipitation as hydroxide, separated and washed and the remaining lithium-containing solution is further purified by conversion into the carbonate, chloride or sulfate and preferably subsequent crystallization.
- View Dependent Claims (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22)
The subject matter of the invention is a method for the hydrometallurgical recovery of lithium from the fraction of used galvanic cells containing lithium manganese oxide.
Mobile electronic devices require increasingly powerful rechargeable batteries for self-sufficient power supply. For these purposes, lithium-ion batteries are used on account of the energy density thereof expressed in Wh/kg, cycling stability and low self-discharge. Lithium-ion batteries with transition metal oxides as active cathode material are very widespread. The active cathode material in these batteries consists of lithium transition metal oxides, from which lithium ions are released during charging and intercalated in the anode material. Of particular importance are the lithium manganese mixed oxides, which are also known in abbreviated form as manganese spinel cells or batteries. Large-format lithium rechargeable batteries are used for stationary applications (power back-up) or in the automobile field for traction purposes (hybrid drive or pure electric drive). With respect to safety in the latter applications, lithium manganese oxide batteries are recognized as being of outstanding importance. Since the amount of recyclable material contained therein grows with the size and number of the manufactured, charged and reused batteries, an economical method for recovery of the lithium within the batteries is necessary.
A method for recovery of lithium from the LiFePO4-containing fraction of shredded and sifted cells is known from the document WO 2012/072619 A1, in which the fraction containing LiFePO4 is treated with acid solution in the presence of an oxidizing agent. The dissolved-out lithium ions are separated from the undissolved iron phosphate and precipitate out as salts from the solution containing lithium. The hydrometallurgical reclamation takes place with dilute sulphuric acid accompanied by introduction of oxygen, ozone or addition of hydrogen peroxide in the temperature range of 80° C. to 120° C.
Disadvantages of this method are the high energy intensity of the extraction process, the high requirements with respect to corrosion resistance of the apparatus used and the purity of the lithium salts obtained by precipitation.
The object of the invention is to provide a method, which ensures the highest possible energy efficiency in the extraction of lithium together with low requirements with respect to the corrosion resistance of the apparatus used and increased purity of the lithium compounds obtained.
The stated object is achieved by a method for hydrometallurgical recovery of lithium from the fraction of used galvanic cells containing lithium manganese oxide, in which a fraction containing lithium manganese oxide with a particle size up to 500 μm is added to oxalic acid in a hyper-stoichiometric amount relative to the manganese content in the lithium manganese oxide and is solubilized at a solid/liquid ratio in the range of 10 to 250 g/l at temperatures of 30 to 70° C., the lithium-containing solution formed is separated and the remaining residue is washed at least twice, the separated lithium and the washing solution containing lithium are combined, dissolved residual manganese content is reduced by precipitation as hydroxide, separated and washed and the remaining lithium-containing solution is further purified by conversion into the carbonate, chloride or sulfate and, if necessary, by subsequent crystallization. Surprisingly, it was found that the extraction of lithium without an additional heat source takes place readily through utilization of the reaction heat generated during the extraction. A virtually autocatalytic decomposition of the reducing agent can be generally avoided, as the heat of reaction is controlled and kept very low by the dosing of the reducing agent. Effectively, only stoichiometric amounts of reducing agent must be used in order to extract the lithium.
Depending on the chosen reaction conditions, the manganese precipitates during the extraction process predominantly in the form of undissolved manganese oxalate.
In doing so, the contained lithium is solubilized to more than 95 wt. % under the specified mild, hydrometallurgical solubilization conditions and recovered at more than 90 wt. %.
Preferably the content of multivalent metal cations is reduced further by means of ion exchange. The lowered content of multivalent metal cations has a particularly positive effect on further processing of the solution by means of electrodialysis with bipolar membranes, since these metal cations act as “membrane poisons” due to deposition thereof in the form of hydroxides in and on the membranes used.
More preferably the fraction containing lithium manganese oxide has a particle size up to 500 μm, preferably 100 to 400 μm. The use of the stated particle size improves the dissociation behavior.
Advantageously the oxalic acid is used at a concentration of 0.2 to 1.2 mol/l, preferably 0.5 to 1.0 mol/l or directly as a solid. The use of solid oxalic acid considerably reduces the reaction volume.
More preferably the solid to liquid ratio is adjusted in a range of 20 to 200 g/l, preferably 45 to 90 g/l. In spite of the high solid content in the reaction mixture, the contained lithium is solubilized nearly quantitatively.
Preferably the digestion is carried out at temperatures of 35 to 65° C., preferably at 40 to 60° C. Surprisingly, as a result, the effectiveness of the dissolution of the lithium is not substantially influenced either by the duration or the amount. The stated temperature range is adjustable with ordinary technical equipment.
Advantageously the digestion residue is washed at least three times. It was found, that more than 90 wt. % of the contained lithium can be obtained by this means.
Preferably the oxalic acid is used in excess to avoid a simultaneous precipitation of manganese oxalate and lithium in the form of the carbonate. More preferably a 0.1 to 1 molar excess is used, preferably 0.2 to 0.8 molar excess.
The product made according to the method is suitable with respect to the purity thereof for the production of lithium transition metal oxides or lithium transition metal phosphates and may preferably be used to make active materials for use in cathodes of lithium-ion batteries.
The method according to the invention is described in general terms hereinafter.
The invention is explained by means of the following examples and Table 1.
Under the conditions specified in Table 1, 6 experiments were carried out with a fraction containing lithium manganese oxide.