First Cobalt recovers lithium, nickel, copper in EV battery recycling test

Canada-based supplier First Cobalt has extracted nickel, cobalt, copper, manganese, lithium and graphite from a “black mass” product recovered from recycled batteries, the company said on Thursday July 22.

The extraction was done at the company’s hydrometallurgical refinery located north of Toronto.
Black mass represents the main chemical composition of the battery, and is obtained after removal of the mechanical housing of the battery, First Cobalt said. When lithium-ion batteries reach their end-of-life, they are dismantled and the parts containing the electrodes are crushed or shredded to produce a powdery fraction referred to as black mass.
Work was under way to leverage the existing operating permits, flow sheet and equipment at the Canadian refinery, the company said.

This refinery has existing capabilities (size and scale) to produce separate products containing nickel, cobalt, copper and manganese. With flow sheet modifications, recovery of lithium and graphite could...


Cristina Belda

July 26, 2021

13:20 GMT