Zinc metal extraction from alkaline battery waste by pyrochemistry

Reference number
Coordinator CHALMERS TEKNISKA HÖGSKOLA AKTIEBOLAG - Department for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Funding from Vinnova SEK 495 000
Project duration September 2016 - February 2017
Status Ongoing
Venture The strategic innovation programme for mining and metal recovery – STRIM

Purpose and goal

A pyro-chemical process with low CO2 emission for the extraction of zinc from spent alkaline batteries was developed. The process efficiency increased and carbon footprint sharply decreased, when H2 gas was used as a reducing agent. The waste feeding amount determined as the critical factor to control the efficiency in the case of scale-up the process, if horizontal static furnace is preferred. Gas analyses revealed that the exhaust gas of the process dominated by CO and CO2, but other minor gases, which can be treatable, were also detected in the exhaust gas flow.

Expected results and effects

Zinc (Zn) recovery amount reached to 99% at 950°C for 60 min process time by adding carbon as a reducing agent . Although extra carbon increased the Zn recovery, the CO2 gas emission of the process also rose. When H2 gas was used, 99.7 and 99.8% of the Zn extracted from the waste at 950°C for 45 and 60 min process times, respectively, and the CO2 emission was minimized. Zn and manganese oxide particles were prepared in the process. The project results show that industrial scale pyro-chemical process can be economically and environmentally feasible for the recovery of Zn from spent batteries.

Planned approach and implementation

The project investigated the extraction of Zn from battery waste by a developed pyro-chemical process and systematically analyzed the effects of the type and amount of the reducing agent, process time and waste feeding amounts to optimize the conditions for high recovery amount and low CO2 emission. Energy consumption and exhaust gas emission of the optimized process were analyzed. The process carbon footprint is lesser than the lowest value of industrial Zn process considering that using green energy sources. The Zn particles has submicron size and it is a market-ready product.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.

Last updated 25 November 2019

Reference number 2016-02621

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