Lithium Australia perfecting battery recycling tech
Lithium Australia has hit another milestone on its road towards recycling lithium-ion batteries with the successful production of lithium phosphate from mixed metal dust derived from waste battery electrodes.
Additionally, the company was also able to recover nickel and cobalt in a concentrate suitable as a feed for commercial refining.
The company is currently in the process of producing lithium-ferro-phosphate cathode powder from lithium phosphate powder refined using its proprietary precipitation and refining technology.
The cathode powder will be used to produce coin cells to test the performance of recycled lithium.
Lithium Australia Managing Director Adrian Griffin said: “Currently, few recycling operations around the world can recover lithium from lithium-ion batteries. Lithium Australia’s process has the potential to not only improve the sustainability of lithium-ion batteries but also ease future supply constraints that may prove problematic to the industry.”
The mixed metal dust was supplied by Victorian battery recycling company, Envirostream, who generates product by shredding batteries and separating the components for reuse.
Lithium Australia has a 14.29% stake in Envirostream, who currently operates Australia’s only facility for shredding lithium-ion batteries.
The ability to recycle lithium and other metals would prevent lithium-ion batteries from being consigned to landfills, a major issue in Australia where just 2% of batteries are recycled, according to federal scientific research outfit, CSIRO.
Successful recycling of lithium-ion batteries will allow Lithium Australia to effectively “close the loop” for energy metals by capturing value from a rapidly growing waste stream.