Lithium Australia has teamed up with Envirostream Australia and ANSTO Minerals to develop a practical solution to a global problem.
According to Adrian Griffin, manging director at Lithium Australia, spent lithium-ion batteries are piling up around the globe. “But to date the capacity to recycle the metals they contain (which are of considerable value) is limited. In fact, almost without exception that recycling capacity recovers the base metals (such as nickel, copper and cobalt) only, not the lithium,” says Griffin.
Griffin said in a statement that Lithium Australia has completed laboratory trials that recover all the metals from spent batteries, including, significantly, lithium in the form of a phosphate. The phosphate has been used as direct feed for the production of lithium-ferro-phosphate (LFP) cathode powders, with lithium-ion coin cells subsequently produced for testing purposes. The performance of those batteries will be reported in due course.
In recycling battery materials, Lithium Australia aims to:
- reduce the carbon footprint associated with the production of new batteries;
- conserve primary resources by reducing reliance on newly mined materials; and
- ensure an ethical supply chain for the production of new batteries.