Electrolytic purification of metal copper recovery from waste lithium batteries

Ana Carolina Araujo, Greicy Maia, Marcela Rabelo Menezes, Jose Ricardo Sodre

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished Conference Paperpeer-review


Battery disposal is a subject of high environmental concerns, and requires studies on their
recovery and reuse to minimize waste of non-renewable resources of raw materials. In many
countries there is no proper disposal and collection of these materials, as there is no legislation
on battery recycling. Since the battery anode contains a large proportion of copper, this work
investigates copper purification from a battery recovery process. The methodology applies the
electrolytic refining technique of copper electrodeposition, after opening the electrode through
acid leaching. Sixty-three waste batteries were collected for this research, totalling 494.473 g.
Of this mass 98.509 g corresponds to copper-rich anode, which 19.66% is equivalent to
recoverable copper. The process here applied allowed for recovery of 99.61% of the recoverable
copper through natural metal oxide deposition in a copper plate. Final analysis of the plate
shows 70.5% copper, the remaining composition being oxygen, carbon, sulphur and chlorine
contaminant. The main novelty of this paper is the reduced amount of sulphuric acid used in
the lixiviation process.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2019
EventSDEWES: 14th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems - Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 1 Oct 20196 Oct 2019


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© 2019 The Authors


  • Batteries
  • recycling
  • copper


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