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Recycling of nickel-metal hydride batteries. II: Electrochemical deposition of cobalt and nickel

Lookup NU author(s): Nick Tzanetakis, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott


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A combination of hydrometallurgical and electrochemical processes has been developed for the separation and recovery of nickel and cobalt from cylindrical nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries. Leaching tests revealed that a 4 mol dm-3 hydrochloric acid solution at 95°C was suitable to dissolve all metals from the battery after 3 h dissolution. The rare earths were separated from the leaching solution by solvent extraction with 25% bis(2-ethylhexyl)phosphoric acid (D2EHPA) in kerosene. The nickel and cobalt present in the aqueous phase were subjected to electrowinning. Galvanostatic tests on simulated aqueous solutions investigated the effect of current density, pH, and temperature with regard to current efficiency and deposit composition and morphology. The results indicated that achieving an Ni-Co composition with desirable properties was possible by varying the applied current density. Preferential cobalt deposition was observed at low current densities. Galvanostatic tests using solutions obtained from treatment of batteries revealed that the aqueous chloride phase, obtained from the extraction, was suitable for recovery of nickel and cobalt through simultaneous electrodeposition. Scanning electron micrography and X-ray diffraction analysis gave detailed information of the morphology and the crystallographic orientation of the obtained deposits. © 2004 Society of Chemical Industry.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tzanetakis N, Scott K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology

Year: 2004

Volume: 79

Issue: 9

Pages: 927-934

ISSN (print): 0268-2575

ISSN (electronic): 1097-4660

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd


DOI: 10.1002/jctb.1082


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