Investigation of heating conditions for cobalt recycling from spent lithium ion batteries by magnetic separation

Kengo Horiuchi, Mitsuaki Matsuoka, Chiharu Tokoro, Shuji Owada, Shojiro Usui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The recent dramatic increase in demand lithium ion batteries (LIBs) in the automotive and electronic industries makes it desirable to establish sustainable recycling technology to recover cobalt from the cathode material (LiCoO2). Although the combination of physical and hydrometallurgical processes is one option for recovery of metals, the large amount of aluminum in the cathode of spent LIBs can negatively affect the process performances. Therefore, as a means to enhance the cobalt recovery from spent LIBs, we investigated the feasibility of a physical process for separation of cobalt and aluminum by thermal treatment and wet magnetic separation. Results highlighted the efficiency of the thermal treatment for conversion of the cathode material to magnetic cobalt due to (i) the presence of the more reactive lithium-deficient LixCoO2 (x<1), (ii) the presence of reductive aluminum and graphite from electrode supports, and (iii) the generation of CO, CH4 and C2H4, which activate reduction and carbonation. Furthermore, a slow rise in temperature during heating promoted increases of the grain size of CoO and Co and prevented the pulverization of Al. As a result, 75.5% of cobalt could be recovered from spent LIBs without contamination by aluminum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
Journalkagaku kogaku ronbunshu
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Copper Recovery
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • Recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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