Circular Economy in the Use and Recycling of Battery Metals is Achieved with Molecular Recognition Technology™ (MRT™)
MRT™ Provides a Green Pathway to Battery Metal Sustainability
Our Direct Lithium to Product™ (DLP™) Section describes IBC’s Direct Lithium to Product™ (DLP™) process for direct production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate or lithium carbonate from brines, ores and recycled materials.
Our Highly Selective Separations: SuperLig® Section reviews the purification of cobalt (Co) electrolyte through removal of cadmium (Cd) impurity to produce battery-grade cobalt.
The selective separation of cobalt and copper using SuperLig® MRT™ from a feed stream containing cobalt, copper and other base metals is illustrated below. High purity copper (vial 4) and high purity cobalt (vial 8) are produced.
Results at a major cobalt and copper mine demonstrate the highly efficient purification of cobalt using MRT™:
- Cadmium and copper removed from cobalt to less than 0.1 mg/L
- Cadmium and copper recovered at >99% purity levels
- Recovered cadmium and copper either marketed to offset costs or disposed of safely
- No cobalt losses: cobalt and other metals are rejected by the SuperLig® resins and go to raffinate
- No solvents or harsh chemicals: SuperLig® resins re-used multiple times by elution with 1 M sulfuric acid (for cadmium) or 2 M sulfuric acid (for copper)
- Low capex and opex: reduction of requirement for equipment, labor, space, chemicals
- Minimal waste generation
Nickel laterite ores are particularly difficult to process due to the presence of high levels of impurity metals.
Advantages of MRT™ for the extraction, polishing, and refining of nickel and cobalt from laterite ore leach feed solutions containing high concentrations of iron, other base metals and contaminants include:
- Placement of the MRT plant up front in the flow sheet as the primary extraction and refining step for nickel and cobalt
- Production of a high purity nickel concentrate
- High grade nickel metal obtained by electro-winning or direct precipitation to nickel hydroxide after pH adjustment
- Production of a high purity cobalt concentrate
- Production of high grade cobalt metal by electro–winning or direct precipitation to cobalt hydroxide after pH adjustment
- Use of one SuperLig® product for recovery of both nickel and cobalt as high purity product solutions
SuperLig® MRT™ Processes Span a Range of Applications for the Separation and Purification of Cobalt and Nickel
Application SuperLig® Resin 1. Extraction and polishing of iron from cobalt stream in sulfuric acid matrix SuperLig® 48 2. Cadmium removal from cobalt electrolyte SuperLig® 177 3. Extraction and purification of copper from cobalt process streams SuperLig® 77 4. Extraction and polishing nickel from a cobalt stream in sulfuric acid matrix SuperLig® 241 5. Extraction and polishing nickel from a cobalt stream in a nitric acid matrix SuperLig® 199 6. Co-extraction of copper, iron, and nickel from a cobalt stream in a sulfuric acid matrix SuperLig® 176 7. Co-extraction of cobalt and nickel from a nickel laterite ore process stream with separate elutions for cobalt and nickel SuperLig® 138 8. Separate extractions of nickel, copper, and iron from concentrated acidic cobalt/base metal solutions with separate elutions producing pure salt products Solution pH 1
Cu: SuperLig® 86
Fe: SuperLig® 14
Ni: SuperLig® 199
Co: SuperLig® 138
9. Separate extractions of copper/iron, nickel and cobalt from concentrated acidic cobalt/base metal solutions with separate elutions producing pure salt products Solution pH 2
Cu/Fe: SuperLig® 145
Ni: SuperLig® 199
Co: SuperLig® 138