Composition analysis of the cathode active material of spent Li-ion batteries leached in citric acid solution: A study to monitor and assist recycling processes.


Geisamanda Pedrini Brandão


Laboratory of Atomic Spectrometry, Chemistry Department, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, ES, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Spent Li-ion batteries (LIBs) despite being produced with valuable metals from non-renewable natural resources are considered hazardous solid wastes because they contain metals and organic solvents pollutants for the environment. Due to this, it becomes necessary to know the chemical composition of these spent batteries to assist in the proper disposal and/or recycling process. This study aimed to provide quantitative data regarding the chemical composition of the cathode active material (CAM) of eight different spent LIBs used in cell phones and propose relationship with their energy capacity, year of manufacture and brand. CAM powder was leached using an environmentally friendly process with citric acid (2.0 mol L-1) and H2O2 (0.25 mol L-1), and the metals concentrations were determined by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES). Co (43-67 wt%), Li (5.3-6.8 wt%), Mn (0.8-8.2 wt%), Ni (0.1-11.7 wt%) and Al (0.06-3.2 wt%) were present in higher concentrations, whereas Cr (0.0005-0.002 wt%), Cu (0.01-0.05 wt%), Mg (0.005-0.02 wt%), Ti (0.001-0.07 wt%), Ga (0.0009-0.03 wt%) and Zn (0.009-0.05 wt%) were present in lower concentrations. The result obtained showed a considerable variation between CAM elemental composition, which may be related to type of electrolyte, energy capacity and year of manufacture. Since this difference in chemical composition is not shown on product labels, this work using a green leaching process and a suitable analytical method may assist in the recycling processes and avoid the inappropriate disposal of the material.


Assist to environmental protection,Cathode active material,Green chemistry,Spent Li-ion battery,Valuable metal recovery,

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