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Sustainable mining: recovery of critical raw materials from batteries using environmentally friendly technologies

Grant number: 20/00493-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2022 - December 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Cooperation agreement: Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI)
Principal researcher:Jorge Alberto Soares Tenório
Grantee:Jorge Alberto Soares Tenório
Home Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Amilton Barbosa Botelho Junior ; Denise Crocce Romano Espinosa ; Giorgio Bertanza ; João Paulo Bassin ; Jorge Luís Coleti ; Marcela dos Passos Galluzzi Baltazar ; Sabrina Sorlini


The scope of the present project is the recycling of Li-ion car batteries for critical materials recovery. The target metals are cobalt and lithium; moreover, the recovery of copper, magnesium, rare earth elements, nickel, vanadium, aluminium and graphite shall also be explored in order to achieve the circular economy for sustainable production. The methodology includes the development of a dismantling technique avoiding explosions, grinding process, a full chemical characterization, such as mineralogy and chemical composition, leaching and bioleaching experiments, and selective separation through ion exchange techniques. The kinetics and thermodynamics will be studied using mathematical models, for instance shrinking-core model, and thermodynamic software, as FactSage, HSC, and HydraMedusa. Both chelating resins and solvent extraction will be explored to separate selectively the target metals from the leach solution. The life cycle assessment of the recycling process will be conducted, and its economic viability will be investigated. (AU)

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