Charged EVs | Researchers demonstrate selective recovery of lithium from spent lithium iron phosphate batteries

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By Car Brand Experts

Researchers Discover Innovative Method for Lithium Recovery from Used Batteries

In a recent breakthrough, a research team from Beijing University of Chemical Technology has unveiled a novel approach for selective extraction of lithium ions from spent lithium iron phosphate batteries. Published in the prestigious Journal of Power Sources, their study demonstrates the use of a formic acid-hydrogen peroxide system to achieve this milestone.

Selective Leaching Process for Lithium Recovery

Utilizing a combination of formic acid and hydrogen peroxide, the researchers optimized the leaching conditions to attain exceptional results. By fine-tuning various factors, such as formic acid concentration, solid-liquid ratio, hydrogen peroxide volume, temperature, and reaction time, they achieved an impressive lithium leaching efficiency of 99.9%, while minimizing iron leaching to a mere 0.05%.

Sustainable and Efficient Recovery Technology

The team’s innovative method not only ensures high lithium recovery rates but also stands out for its eco-friendly attributes. By harnessing the power of formic acid as a mild organic leaching agent and hydrogen peroxide as an effective oxidizing agent, the process emerges as a sustainable and efficient means of lithium extraction.

The researchers further validated the optimal leaching conditions through comprehensive multi-factor response surface experiments, corroborating the efficacy of their approach. Through sodium carbonate precipitation, they successfully recovered lithium ions from the leachate, yielding a lithium product with an impressive purity of 99.9%.

Advantages of the Proposed Recovery Technology

The authors of the study highlighted the key advantages of their proposed recovery technology, emphasizing its simplicity, efficiency, and environmental benefits. By utilizing formic acid as a greener alternative to conventional inorganic acids, the process offers a streamlined and environmentally conscious solution for lithium recovery, boasting high lithium concentration in the leaching solution with minimal iron contamination and ensuring the production of high-purity lithium carbonate.

Source: Green Car Congress


The innovative use of formic acid and hydrogen peroxide in the selective recovery of lithium from spent batteries represents a significant advancement in sustainable battery recycling practices. By prioritizing efficiency and eco-friendliness, this research paves the way for a more environmentally conscious approach to lithium extraction and battery recycling.


What are the key benefits of using formic acid and hydrogen peroxide for lithium recovery?

The use of formic acid as an organic leaching agent and hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizing agent offers several advantages, including high efficiency in lithium extraction, minimal iron contamination, and a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach compared to traditional methods.

How does the proposed recovery technology contribute to sustainable battery recycling?

The innovative approach presented in the research study not only ensures a high recovery rate of lithium but also emphasizes the importance of using greener chemicals, reducing environmental impact, and achieving high purity in the recovered lithium product, thus promoting sustainability in battery recycling efforts.

What implications does this research have for the future of battery recycling and resource conservation?

The adoption of novel and sustainable methods, such as the formic acid-hydrogen peroxide system, for lithium recovery from used batteries underscores a shift towards more eco-conscious practices in battery recycling. By enhancing resource conservation and minimizing environmental harm, this research contributes significantly to shaping a more sustainable future for the battery industry.

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