Faculté des Sciences appliquées
Faculté des Sciences appliquées

Optimisation of the lithium recovery in the filtrate of a lithium primary batteries recycling process

Jeanmoye, Thomas ULiège
Promotor(s) : Léonard, Grégoire ULiège
Date of defense : 26-Jun-2019/27-Jun-2019 • Permalink :
Title : Optimisation of the lithium recovery in the filtrate of a lithium primary batteries recycling process
Translated title : [fr] Optimisation d'un procédé de récupération du lithium dans le filtrat d'un procédé de recyclage de batteries primaires au lithium
Author : Jeanmoye, Thomas ULiège
Date of defense  : 26-Jun-2019/27-Jun-2019
Advisor(s) : Léonard, Grégoire ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Renzoni, François 
Pfennig, Andreas ULiège
Bastin, David ULiège
Language : English
Number of pages : 89
Keywords : [en] Lithium recovery
[en] Lithium primary batteries
[en] lithium recycling
Discipline(s) : Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences > Chemistry
Target public : Professionals of domain
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en ingénieur civil en chimie et science des matériaux, à finalité spécialisée
Faculty: Master thesis of the Faculté des Sciences appliquées


[en] The aim of the present master's thesis is to develop and optimize a method to recover lithium in the filtrate of a lithium primary batteries recycling process. The importance of recycling lithium primary batteries lays in the fact that there is currently no process used at an industrial scale able to treat that kind of cells because of the practical and safety issues related to their nature.

In this context and despite their small market share, Revatech decided to work on that type of batteries as they cannot be safely stored and need to be treated to minimize risks of explosion due to their high reactivity. The treatment of these cells generates three fractions: scrap metal, black-mass and a liquid concentrate of lithium. This document focuses on the liquid output.

The first step of the thesis is the documentation on already implemented batteries recycling and lithium recovery processes which can give a hint on the available methods. Since information on lithium-ions batteries are more available, the methods described in scientific literature often have to be adapted to the case of lithium primary batteries.

The recovery of lithium in this filtrate is done by selective precipitation using sodium carbonate to recover solid lithium carbonate.

The adjustment of parameters and the experiments on different types of filtrate are done to come to a recovery rate and purity as high as possible on a representative filtrate generated by the shredding of a mix of different types of lithium primary batteries. After optimization, a recovery rate of 80% and a purity of 99% are reached.

The parameters eventually used are a molar ratio Na/Li of 1.5, a volume of water to wash the precipitate equals to 50% of the volume of the initial lithium containing solution, a reaction time of 30 minutes and working at room temperature.

These parameters are initially tested on lithium hydroxide solution allowing experiments on pollutant free solutions containing only lithium before their application to a filtrate generated by the shredding of batteries.

The results are extrapolated to forecast the production possibilities related to this process. The experiments led to a potential volume of 110 m³ of filtrate to process in order to produce 7tons of lithium carbonate taking 300 tons of batteries (Revatech forecast) as an input. Further intermediate tests still have to be made but if a scale-up with the same output as the lab experiments is reached, it would be profitable for the company and could be done without transforming the current plant.



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  • Jeanmoye, Thomas ULiège Université de Liège > Master ingé. civil chim. & sc. mat., à fin.


Committee's member(s)

  • Renzoni, François Revatech
  • Pfennig, Andreas ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > Department of Chemical Engineering > PEPs - Products, Environment, and Processes
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Bastin, David ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > Département ArGEnCo > Département ArGEnCo
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Total number of views 12
  • Total number of downloads 0

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