Recovery of Rare Earth Metals (REMs) from Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries of Electric Vehicles

Jha, Manis K and Choubey, Pankaj K and Dinkar, Om Shankar and Panda, Rekha and Jyothi, Rajesh Kumar and Yoo, Kyoungkeun and Park, Ilhwan (2022) Recovery of Rare Earth Metals (REMs) from Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries of Electric Vehicles. Minerals, 12(1) .

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Abstract

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries are extensively used in the manufacturing of portable electronic devices as well as electric vehicles due to their specific properties including high energy density, precise volume, resistance to overcharge, etc. These NiMH batteries contain significant amounts of rare earth metals (REMs) along with Co and Ni which are discarded due to illegal dumping and improper recycling practices. In view of their strategic, economic, and industrial importance, and to mitigate the demand and supply gap of REMs and the limited availability of natural resources, it is necessary to explore secondary resources of REMs. Therefore, the present paper reports a feasible hydrometallurgical process flowsheet for the recovery of REMs and valuable metals from spent NiMH batteries. More than 90% dissolution of REMs (Nd, Ce and La) was achieved using 2 M H2SO4 at 75 degrees C in 60 min in the presence of 10% H2O2 (v/v). From the obtained leach liquor, the REMs, such as Nd and Ce, were recovered using 10% PC88A diluted in kerosene at eq. pH 1.5 and O/A ratio 1/1 in two stages of counter current extraction. La of 99% purity was selectively precipitated from the leach liquor in the pH range of 1.5 to 2.0, leaving Cu, Ni and Co in the filtrate. Further, Cu and Ni were extracted with LIX 84 at equilibrium pH 2.5 and 5, leaving Co in the raffinate. The developed process flow sheet is feasible and has potential for industrial exploitation after scale-up/pilot trails.

Item Type:Article
Official URL/DOI:https://10.3390/min12010034
Uncontrolled Keywords:NiMH batteries; rare earth metals; leaching; solvent extraction; precipitation; spent; extraction; values
Divisions:Material Science and Technology
ID Code:8681
Deposited By:Dr Mita Tarafder
Deposited On:23 Feb 2022 16:49
Last Modified:23 Feb 2022 16:49
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