New processes to recover critical and high value materials


m_colabatsRecovering critical & high value metals with a process that minimizes environmental impactCoLaBATS aims at develop hydrometallurgical (as opposed to pyrometallurgical) processes for the recovery of materials including rare earth metals. These new processes will be applicable at small scale and more widely than existing processes.

CoLaBATS partners met at TECNALIA, San Sebastian to discuss the progress of the WPs of the project and select a good ionic liquid for the process. Novel physical and chemical recovery processes will be developed, including the use of ionic liquids and ultrasonics to recover nickel, and lanthanides from nickel metal hydride batteries; recover cobalt and lithium from lithium ion batteries; identify potential for innovation in the metal manufacturing and recovery sectors; evaluate the use of ionic liquids, electrochemical and ultrasonic technology; help develop improved standards in the battery recycling sector; and create new industrial applications and employment opportunities.

Regarding batteries, CoLaBATS will develop new battery recycling processes for the recovery of cobalt, lanthanum, cerium, copper, nickel and other materials from waste batteries, significantly improving recycling efficiencies and recovered metal purity compared to existing recycling routes. The project will focus on rechargeable Li-ion and NiMH batteries. These batteries are found in everyday consumer products such as mobile phones and lap-tops, industrial equipment, and are important for the developing electric vehicle market.  The project will evaluate the use of ultrasound to help separate battery components and the use of task specific ionic liquids (TSILs) for the selective extraction of metals.