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1. (WO2019060996) LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES RECYCLING PROCESS
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WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1 . A process for recycling lithium-ion batteries comprising the steps of:

a) shredding the lithium-ion batteries and immersing the residues in an organic solvent to safely discharge the batteries and producing shredded batteries residues and a liquid comprising organic compounds and lithium hexafluorophosphate;

b) feeding the shredded batteries residues in a dryer producing a gaseous organic phase and dried batteries residues;

c) feeding the dried batteries residues comprising magnetic and nonmagnetic batteries residues to a magnetic separator removing magnetic particles from the dried batteries residues;

d) grinding the non-magnetic batteries residues producing a particle size distribution comprising an upper range comprising plastics, and a middle and lower range of fine particles comprising aluminum, copper, metal and graphite;

e) mixing the fine particles and an acid producing a slurry and leaching the slurry producing a leachate comprising metal sulfate and non- leachable materials;

f) filtering the leachate to remove the non-leachable materials from the leachate;

g) feeding the leachate into a sulfide precipitation tank removing ionic copper impurities from said leachate;

h) neutralizing the leachate at a pH of 3.5 to 5 removing remaining iron and aluminum from said leachate;

i) mixing the leachate with an organic extraction solvent producing an aqueous phase containing lithium and an organic phase containing cobalt, manganese and nickel;

j) crystallizing sodium sulfate from the aqueous phase containing lithium producing a liquor containing lithium and sodium sulfate crystals;

k) adding sodium carbonate to the liquor and heating up the sodium carbonate and the liquor producing a precipitate of lithium carbonate; and

I) drying and recuperating the lithium carbonate.

2. The process of claim 1 , wherein the organic solvent is an aliphatic carbonate.

3. The process of claim 1 or 2, wherein the organic solvent is at a temperature under 40°C.

4. The process of any one of claims 1 -3, wherein the lithium ion batteries are shredded to a particle size of about 5-10 millimeters.

5. The process of any one of claims 1 -4, wherein the shredded batteries residues are separated from the liquid by sieving or filtration.

6. The process of any one of claims 1 -5, further comprising evaporating the liquid of step a) in an evaporator, producing a slurry and a condensate of light organics.

7. The process of claim 6, comprising separating dimethyl carbonate (DMC), ethyl methyl carbonate (EMC), diethyl carbonate (DEC) and ethylene carbonate (EC) from the condensate of light organics.

8. The process of claim 6, further comprising recycling the condensate of light organics as the organic solvent in step a).

9. The process of any one of claims 6-8, wherein the slurry is burned at a temperature of about 500°C producing a combustion gas comprising hydrofluoric acid (HF) and phosphorus pentoxide (Ρ205).

10. The process of claim 9, wherein the HF is further removed in a dry scrubber and the P205 is neutralized in a wet scrubber forming sodium phosphate (Na3P04).

1 1. The process of any one of claims 1-10, wherein the shredded batteries residues are dried at a temperature between 200-300°C.

12. The process of any one of claims 1 -1 1 , wherein the non-magnetic batteries residues are grinded in a hammer mill or in an impact crusher.

13. The process of any one of claims 1 -12, further comprising extracting with an eddy current separator the aluminum and cooper from the grinded nonmagnetic batteries.

14. The process of claim 13, wherein the aluminum and copper are further separated.

15. The process of any one of claims 1-14, wherein the fine particles are mixed with sulfuric acid and water to produce a metal oxides slurry at a solid concentration between 75 to 125 kg of solid per cubic meters of acid solution.

16. The process of any one of claims 1-15, further comprising adding a reduction agent to the metal oxides slurry for leaching.

17. The process of claim 16, wherein the reduction agent is at least one of hydrogen peroxide (H202), manganese oxide (Mn02), aluminum (Al) and a combination thereof.

18. The process of any one of claims 1 -17, further comprising filtering the graphite from the leachate and purifying it in a furnace.

19. The process of claim 18, wherein the furnace is operating at a temperature of about 200 to 800°C.

20. The process of any one of claims 1 -19, further comprising precipitating the ionic copper impurities by precipitation with sulfide ions.

21 . The process of any one of claims 1 -20, further comprising mixing the leachate and the organic extraction solvent in step j) in a diluent.

22. The process of any one of claims 1 -21 , further comprising scrubbing and stripping the organic phase from step i) to extract cobalt and manganese.

23. The process of claim 22, wherein the cobalt and manganese are separated by electrowinning.

24. The process of any one of claims 1 -23, further comprising increasing the pH of the aqueous phase to a pH between 10 and 12 to precipitate the nickel from said aqueous phase.

25. The process of any one of claims 1 -24, further comprising electrolysing the sodium sulfate crystals producing sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide.