PyroLith - Development of a stable process based on the process chains pyrometallurgy-slags processing-hydrometallurgy for the recovery of Li from Mn-containing slags

Project description:

Various processes have been developed in recent years for recycling lithium-ion batteries. One option is the pyrometallurgical processing of whole cells or individual fractions. One advantage of this process is its high robustness and the chance to process alternating cell generations together or in alternating mixtures.

The PyroLith project explicitly addresses the recovery of lithium from the manganese-containing slags that are produced during the pyrometallurgical processing of lithium-ion batteries. It is known from previous projects that, under suitable conditions, cobalt, nickel, copper, and portions of iron and manganese can be transferred to the molten metal. Lithium and aluminium can be quantitatively converted into a slag containing calcium and silicon, which also contains certain amounts of manganese and iron. The aim is to concentrate lithium and possibly also other valuable metals with an affinity for slag in the future through suitable process control. By appropriate processing, the valuable metals concentrated in the artificial mineral phases will be separated and a residual slag suitable for building material applications will be produced. The approach chosen in this project is to build on the already known results and to develop them further for the current 6-2-2 NMC cell generations and future cell generations.

The partner-specific task of the Institute of Mineral and Waste Processing, Waste Disposal and Geomechanics (IFAD) is to develop a process to enrich the valuable material components by flotation. A suitable hydrometallurgical process will be used to recover the target metals. The remaining slag components should be able to be used as feedstock for the production of building materials. The PyroLith research project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the battery competence cluster "Recycling / Green Battery" (greenBatt) with a total amount of € 1.9 million.

Collaborative partners:

  • TU Clausthal - Institute for Energy Process Engineering and Fuel Technology (IEVB)
  • RWTH Aachen - Institute of Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling (IME)
  • Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources / Geocenter Hannover (BGR)  
  • TU Braunschweig - Institute for Particle Technology (iPAT)
  • TU Braunschweig - Institute of Machine Tools and Production Technology (IWF)



Contact person: M. Sc. Hao Qiu
Research Assistant

Phone: +49 5323-72-2119

Subsidy reference number: 03XP0336A