Pilot plant test‐work on project-development-company Neometals’ proprietary lithium‐ion battery recycling technology has been successfully completed after 13 months.
The pilot, undertaken by SGS Canada, represents part of the pre‐development activities for a proposed commercial venture to recover materials from electric vehicle and consumer electronics lithium-ion cells.
The pilot demonstrated the Australian firm’s process could separate and recover battery steel casings, aluminium and copper foil, plastic separators, and graphite from cathode materials including nickel, cobalt, manganese and lithium.
Data from the project was modelled and documented in a report that has been issued to potential joint venture partner SMS Group ahead of a decision on whether to continue the partnership at the end of April.
Last October, Neometals executed a binding memorandum of understanding agreement with Germany’s SMS Group to jointly fund and evaluate the next stage of development work on the Perth-based company’s recycling technology.
During the pilot, Neometals shredded and processed 2.3 tonnes of spent commercial LCO (lithium cobalt oxide) and NMC/NCA (nickel manganese cobalt/nickel cobalt aluminium) batteries during the ‘Feed Preparation’ stage.
A total of 980kg Black Powder was fed into the subsequent ‘Hydrometallurgical Processing’ stage from which cathode materials were recovered and refined into high‐purity chemical products.