Canada Silver Cobalt Works Inc. has launched a new battery recycling initiative using a proprietary hydrometallurgical process it calls Re-2Ox.
The company has begun bench and pilot plant studies at SGS Canada in Lakefield, Ontario, for battery recycling using the Re-2Ox process, which is a hydrometallurgical process purposely designed and adaptable to recover and recycle metals from Lithium-ion, Nickel-hydride and Nickel-cadmium batteries.
The company has received electrodes of a commercial-grade nickel-cadmium battery at SGS Canada to begin initial scoping studies. Bench-scale testing will be followed by pilot plant studies. The same procedure will be used on all three battery types.
Recent data on global lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery sales compiled from 2016 highlight a discrepancy between sales of 500,000 tons, and recycling capacity of only 94,000 tons. If it were assumed that recycling capacity was exclusively dedicated to Li-ion batteries, that would only cover 19% of annual production volume.
By 2024 the gap between recycling capacity and battery production is expected to widen with only nine percent of 3,000,000 tons being covered by recycling capacity according to Propulsion Quebec.
Lithium-ion battery recycling typically begins with separation of the outer casing from the cells. The cathode and anode in the cell are together used to create a powder referred to as “black mass.” The resulting blend contains valuable minerals like lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, and graphite.
Canada Silver Cobalt will use a purely hydrometallurgical approach by employing Re-2Ox for selective leaching to enhance process recovery of metals.