The energy transition needs a massive electrification of the car population around the world. This implies an intensified demand for mineral resources for the electrochemical storage of energy.
In this context, the Research Institute of Chimie Paris (IRCP) and the mining and metallurgical group Eramet, through its Eramet Ideas Innovation Center, have chosen to strengthen their collaboration in 2019 through a Joint Research Laboratory (Labcom) on the development of metal recovery processes for the energy transition.
The labcom’s first projects involve the valorization of “primary resources” with the selective extraction of lithium contained in the brines of the Argentinian salar of Centenario-Ratones on an active material co-developed by Eramet and IFPEN.
Another component of their research is dedicated to the valorization of “secondary resources” with the objective of developing recycling processes for Li-ion batteries in short loop to recover the battery’s elements: nickel, manganese, cobalt and lithium, in the form of battery quality products.
To support these ambitious activities, a PhD student and a postdoctoral researcher, both of whom are Eramet Ideas employees, are currently working on these topics.
A second thesis on the valorization of lithium content in geothermal resources is expected to start soon in the labcom.