Mechanical Beneficiation of End-of-Life Lithium-Ion Battery Components
Recycling of end-of-life (EOL) lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) is imperative to resolve resource issues and manage waste streams of EOL LIBs. A mechanical-hydrometallurgical recycling route is preferable regarding material recovery and energy consumption, while cost reduction is challenging. Effective mechanical pre-treatment of EOL LIBs to beneficiate LIB components is key to reduce operating cost. In this study, the primary mechanical treatment (shredding and sieving) of LIB packs and the subsequent attrition milling were performed to investigate the liberation and separation of LIB components. The results demonstrated that the separation of LIB components was significantly improved by attrition milling of shredded LIB pieces. Active electrode materials (lithium metal oxide and graphite), metal foils (copper and aluminum), and low-value components (cell/pack casing, separator, plastic, and paper) were enriched in <500 μm, 500 μm to 2 mm, and >2 mm fractions, respectively. A combination of these treatments demonstrates to be a promising method for LIB component beneficiation.
KeywordLithium-ion battery Recycling Comminution Beneficiation Attrition milling
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