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Cleaner solvents for sustainable chemistry

COLABATS Project

COLABATS Project – Recovery of critical raw materials from batteries using Ionic Liquids and Deep Eutectic Solvents.

A proposed methodology for the recovery of materials from batteries uses Deep Eutectic Solvents (DES) to get the waste material into solution and then, after filtration, employs task specific ionic liquids (TSILs) to selectively retrieve metals from the DES. Once metals are transferred into the TSILs, they can be recovered through electro-winning, precipitation and electro-deposition. Once all materials have been retrieved, stripping of residues from the DES allows a final clean-up of the solvent, which can then be reused at the start of the process. Essentially, the process is cyclic and allows for the regeneration and reuse of all the DES and TSILs. This process therefore produces very little waste, reduces costs and has a lower environmental impact compared to typical hydro- (acid leaching) and pyro- (incineration) metallurgical processes, which are currently used to recover materials from batteries. COLABATS is midway through the process of designing and operating a pilot plant for the recovery of Co and Ln from batteries with the use of DES and TSILs chemistries”.

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