Polish recycler Elemental Strategic Metals has partnered up with URT to recycle even more batteries. A new thermo mechanical recycling plant is being built near its headquarters in Grodzisk Mazowiecki. ‘The lithium-ion battery recycling facility will enable a recovery of more than 98% of the black mass,’ according to URT.
Due to the one-step, slow-rotating shredding process before drying, less fines from the other fractions are carried over into the black mass, the company explains. ‘This produces a black mass of the highest purity.’ How does it work? The previously deep-discharged batteries are fed into a single-stage shredding process via a sluice system. Subsequently, the shredded total fraction enters a vacuum dryer, which evaporates the electrolytes, which are then condensed again and filled in liquid form.
This process section, from shredding to dryer discharge, is encapsulated and kept inert by a nitrogen atmosphere. The dry active material (black mass) is then separated from the remaining components by sieving and filled. ‘In order to meet recycling targets, the active mass must be almost completely separated,’ URT underlines.
Ferrous metals are separated from non-ferrous metals by magnetic separation processes. Anode and cathode foils are further components of the batteries that are separated in the plant. The delamination is done by impact grinding of the foils to enable further separation of the metals coating, plastic foils and remaining active material. In addition to the maximum working conditions the plant will fulfil national and European emission standards. This is ensured by a multi-stage exhaust air treatment system consisting of gas scrubbing and exhaust air post-combustion.
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