Solutions for producing battery chemicals and precursors
We can provide technology for developing the active cathode precursors manufacturing production chain starting from the optimized raw materials selection down to precipitated metal hydroxide precursor materials.
Crystallized nickel and cobalt sulfates (and chlorides) with high purity requirements are typically used in the battery industry as starting point for the active cathode material preparation. These nickel and cobalt crystals are dissolved and form the metal sulfate solutions together with other metals needed in the specific battery chemistry, like manganese, from which the cathode precursor manufacturing starts.
For lithium batteries the lithium is typically introduced to the cathode precursor material in the lithiation stage of the process, where the lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide raw material is introduced to the upcoming cathode structure.
Depending on the starting raw materials and the required leaching, solution concentration and purification steps, the produced nickel and cobalt sulfate solutions may also be used directly for precursor manufacturing without the need to have intermediate metal salt crystallization steps.
Producing nickel, cobalt, and lithium chemicals for battery production
After the metals from the metal containing raw material are leached into solution, the formed pregnant leach solution, PLS, typically needs to be purified. Typical methods include precipitation, solvent extraction and ion exchange. The purified and concentrated metal sulfate (or chloride) solution is then evaporated and crystallized to form the metal sulfate crystals as end products to be used in the precursor manufacturing process. These metal sulfate crystals are the raw materials from which the precursor manufacturing can start. Managing the impurities properly along the whole manufacturing chain is essential for meeting the purity requirements typical for battery raw materials. Depending on the composition of the metal sulfate solution produced, it may also be possible to start precursor manufacturing without the intermediate metal sulfate crystallization step.
Outotec offers all the key technologies required to produce battery grade lithium salts, most importantly lithium hydroxide monohydrate and lithium carbonate, starting from raw materials or intermediate/impure lithium salts.
Outotec has references for battery grade metal sulfate production and can supply all related technology with selected partners starting from technology packages to turnkey deliveries.
Outotec can also provide technology for developing the precursors manufacturing production chain starting from the optimized raw materials selection down to precipitated metal hydroxide precursor materials.Outotec can provide all the key process technologies for nickel and cobalt raw material production Outotec Lithium Hydroxide Process