In this paper two hydrometallurgical processes were analyzed for recovery of lithium and cobalt from lithium ion batteries. The effect of adding a secondary purification step by solvent extraction was evaluated in terms of product purity and economical feasibility of the process. Process routes were made of the following steps: mechanical pretreatment, leaching, primary (and secondary) purification, product recovery. Electrodic material used in leaching experiments was produced in a large scale pre-treatment plant for waste recycling. Leaching tests were performed both using chloridric acid and sulphuric acid plus glucose. In optimized conditions quantitative extraction of Co and Li were obtained for both tested systems. Iron, aluminum and copper were removed by precipitation as hydroxides, while Ni can be separated only using solvent extraction. Process simulations showed that, for the same input flow rate of batteries, the addition of solvent extraction improves the economical feasibility of the process for lithium ion battery recovery.
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