CSIR-NML signs MoU for technology transfer on e-waste recycling

RNS: CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur (NML) has signed an MoU for technology transfer on e-waste recycling. CSIR-NML, Jamshedpur transferred technology to M/s SBCON Recycling Private Limited, Ahmadabad.

The technology has been transferred for the extraction of cobalt and manganese from the black cathodic material of lithium cobalt batteries.

“The company is satisfied with our developed technology and soon willing to start the process on ton scale in association with CSIR-NML. This collaborative work initiated by CSIR-NML will help to demonstrate this work for cobalt and other metal recovery on a larger scale. This initial step will not only prove to be fruitful to the unorganized sectors but also meet the need of the market,” said an official.

CSIR-NML has developed a complete and novel process flow-sheet, which consists of physical beneficiation, leaching, solvent extraction, precipitation and electrowinning processes for recycling of spent LIBs to get value-added products (metal or salts) and protect the environment, based on zero waste concept. The novelty of the process is the development of complete recycling flow-sheet for the recovery of plastics and all metals such as Co, Cu, Mn and Fe.

The process has the potential for industrial exploitation after some scale-up/pilot studies in the close-loop as generated raffinate and regenerated extractant can be recycled in the system.

The systematic laboratory-scale leaching studies were carried out and scientifically validated by well-proven equation and characterization studies. The reported process is environmental and feasible compared to previously reported studies. Implementation of this process on a larger scale will help to maintain a clean and green environment.

It will also bring awareness among common people regarding the loss of valuables and toxicity created due to dumping scrap batteries to the environment.

In this regard, CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur has made sincere efforts towards the ecological recovery of cobalt and other valuable metals from the black powder and other constituents of LIBs. But the heterogeneous nature of a variety of batteries (branded, local and cheaper) received from the municipal waste put forward a great challenge during the technology development. The active cathode material of LIBs contains a variable concentration of cobalt, lithium, copper, manganese, etc. which make the chemical processes for metal recovery more complex. The major hindrance was provided due to manganese presence, which gets co-extracted with cobalt and prevents its extraction. But the hydrometallurgical route adopted by the CSIR-NML team is very selective and exigent.

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