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130th General Meeting of Korean Chemical Society Dissimilatory reduction and leaching of metals in cathodes of Li-ion batteries

Submission Date :
8 / 4 / 2022 , 13 : 57 : 06
Abstract Number :
Presenting Type:
Presenting Area :
Environmental Energy - Current R&D Trends in Upcycling Waste Materials
Authors :
Haesung Jung
Department of Chemical Engineering, Changwon National University, Korea
Assigned Code :
Presenting Time :
Securing resources, such as Li, Ni, Co and Mn, is one of the biggest concerns in battery industries to meet the skyrocketing demands on energy storage using Li-ion batteries. Because the metals in cathodes of Li-ion batteries are limited and expensive resources, it is necessary to develop plans for the metal recoveries from the cathodes in spent Li-ion batteries. Currently, hydrometallurgy and pyrometallurgy are mainly applied for leaching the metals from cathodes. However, the processes need huge energy-input, and generate environmental pollutants, all of which are considered unsustainable processes. Here, using microbes, occurring ubiquitously in environmental systems, we sustainably leach out the metals from NCM622 cathode (LiNi0.6Co0.2Mn0.2O2). By mimicking dissimilatory reduction of metal oxides through microbial respiration under anaerobic conditions, about 30 % of total Li, Ni, Co, and Mn in NCM622 is released into the reaction solution within two weeks. Surprisingly, the reaction occurs at pH ~7.5. Considering that previous approaches are conducted under acidic conditions with additional chemicals and energy, our finding provides a new pathway to sustainably leach out the metals from spent Li-ion batteries.