Sustainable bioleaching of lithium-ion batteries for critical metal recovery: Process optimization through design of experiments and thermodynamic modeling

Majid Alipanah, Hongyue Jin, Qiang Zhou, Caitlin Barboza, David Gazzo, Vicki Thompson, Yoshiko Fujita, Jiangping Liu, Andre Anderko, David Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recycling spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) could alleviate supply risks for critical metals and be less harmful to the environment compared to new production of metals from mining. Developing a cost-effective LIB bioleaching process could be a promising alternative to traditional energy-intensive recycling technologies. This study aimed to optimize bioleaching conditions for maximum economic competitiveness through design of experiments using iterative response surface methodology (RSM), assisted by thermodynamic modeling. The optimal condition was identified as 2.5% pulp density in 75 mM gluconic acid biolixiviant at 55°C for 30 h which could recover 57%–84% of nickel, 71%–86% of cobalt, and 100% of lithium and manganese, yielding a 17%–26% net profit margin. The recommended pulp density and acid concentrations, together with the observed metal solubilization, were supported by thermodynamic modeling predictions. Our study demonstrated that combining RSM with thermodynamic simulations could be a powerful tool for optimizing bioleaching conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107293
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Volume199
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Keywords

  • Biohydrometallurgy
  • Central composite design
  • Factorial design
  • Recycling
  • Ridge analysis
  • Steepest ascent method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics and Econometrics

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