The Materials Processing Institute has been awarded funding by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to develop techniques to recover lithium and graphite from used electric vehicle (EV) batteries.The £60,000 project will be delivered by the Materials Processing Institute in collaboration with Inprotec Ltd, specialised in the design and supply of pyrometallurgical process plant for the recovery, upgrade and refining of precious metals and lead; Cornish Lithium Ltd, an innovative mineral exploration and development company focused on the environmentally sustainable extraction of lithium; and Waste Care Ltd, a company specialised in recycling waste streams from all commercial and industrial sectors.
It is estimated that there will be a million electric vehicles on the UK’s roads within the next four years which might create supply and sustainability challenges concerning the extraction of critical materials such as lithium and graphite that are used to produce EV batteries. Being able to recycle lithium and graphite would secure availability, reduce production costs and limit the environmental impact of extracting raw materials. Andrew Buchanan, the Institute’s Circular Economy Group Manager, said: “As the demand for lithium and other critical materials grows, it’s great to see that the Institute and our partners are leading the drive towards greater resource efficiency in the zero-carbon economy”.
Source: Materials Processing Institute press release.
PROMETIA member the Materials Processing Institute is a not-for-profit research and innovation centre working on the development and commercialisation of technology for advanced materials, including decarbonisation and the circular economy.