Application of vacuum membrane distillation process for lithium recovery in spent lithium ion batteries (LIBs) recycling process

Taekgeun Yun, Junghyun Kim, Seockheon Lee, Seungkwan Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The feasibility of using vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) for lithium recovery by concentrating the discharged leachate from spent lithium ion batteries (LIBs) recycling process was evaluated. The performance of VMD was compared with that of direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) in terms of water flux, concentration rate, membrane wetting, and economic feasibility. VMD achieved a higher volume concentration factor (VCF) of 45 compared to the VCF of 25 achieved by DCMD in the LiCl feed solution. In the Li2SO4 feed solution, VMD and DCMD were concentrated to VCF15 and VCF 17, respectively, before wetting occurred. The stability of the MD process was verified using feed solutions containing nickel and manganese, which are cathode materials that can cause scaling even at low concentrations. Low concentrations of nickel and manganese did not significantly affect the maximum VCF or wetting; however, high concentrations of nickel and manganese affected the stability of the MD process. VMD exhibited a higher flux and 32 % lower thermal energy consumption than DCMD. Furthermore, the expected cost of Li2CO3 production with VMD for leachate concentration was $8.31–10.65/kg. The VMD concentration process is a feasible option for recovering lithium from the discharged leachate from spent LIBs recycling process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116874
JournalDesalination
Volume565
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the KU-KIST Graduate School Project , the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) (Project No. 2E32442 ), Carbon Neutrality Specialized Graduate Program through the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) funded by the Ministry of Environment (MOE), and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. NRF-2021R1A5A1032433 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Concentration process
  • Lithium ion batteries
  • Lithium recovery
  • Membrane distillation
  • Recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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