RPG Student List


Shouchi ZHANG

Doctor Candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Supervisor: Prof. Ka Ming NG


Research Topic

Recycle of the NMC metal ions from Lithium Ion Battery Cathode Materials


In recent years, the rapid development of battery industry has increased a lot in demand for lithium ion batteries (LIBs), which are the most common energy storage device and occupy the largest market of all batteries. Due to LiNi1-x-yMnxCoyO2 (NMC) cathode materials-based lithium ion batteries’ light weight, high energy and good performance, the usage of NMC cathode materials has rapidly increased. The recycle of NMC cathode materials has attracted a lot of attentions because of the large quantity and environmental conservation.
This research is mainly focused on the recycle of metal ions from the cathode materials, including Li, Ni, Mn and Co. The cathode materials are composed four parts: Al foil, PVDF binder, NMC oxide and conductive carbon. Three steps are needed to completely the recovery of the NMC metal ions. The first step is to use alkali solution to dissolve the Al foil while the second one is to sinter the product from the first step, and the final step is liquid-liquid extraction for the separation of different metal ions. The current work showed that the Al foil is not easily dissolved in the alkali solution because of the formation of aluminum hydroxide and the chemical equilibrium between aluminum hydroxide and sodium aluminate. The optimization of the first step is still being conducted and other steps will soon be investigated in the future.