ACROBAT aims to recycle end-of-life LFP LIBs via efficient, innovative and environmentally-friendly processes and separation techniques to recover a maximum amount of EU-CRMs as high-value products and base metals (ferrous and Cu/Al fractions).
The specific ACROBAT objectives are to research, develop and validate:
- LFP-dedicated pre-treatment (i.e., shredding, mechanical separation) with reduced cross-contamination
- continuous, contact-free, in-line characterisation of LFP black mass
- extractive recovery of electrolyte materials (i.e., conducting salts, organic solvents)
- recovery of graphite by froth flotation
- recovery of lithium as battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate by HCl-based hydro-/solvometallurgy
- direct recycling of LFP black mass by tandem hydrometallurgy-hydrothermal synthesis. The sustainability of the ACROBAT flowsheet is evaluated by a life cycle assessment.
Overall, the ACROBAT consortium (VITO, ENEA, Fraunhofer ILT, KU Leuven, Accurec) aims to recover 90% of the EU-CRMs (Li, P and graphite) from LFP LIBs and recycle LFP cathode material, graphite and electrolyte, respectively up to 5.4, 6.2 and 4.4 kt/y by 2030 in Europe.
ACROBAT’s Industrial Advisory Board (Umicore, Bebat, Sortbat and Electrocycling) will catalyse the industrial valorisation of the project results.