Vapor-phase processing of nickel for EV batteries and Metal Additive Manufacturing
The proposed research project aims at technology for environmentally benign recycling of nickel. Theprocess entails conversion of nickel found in the “black mass” from recycled Ni-based batteries intonickel carbonyl, Ni(CO)4, by reaction with CO at modest temperatures around 50-120°C (pressuredependent).Only nickel carbonyl is volatile under these conditions and is easily separated from othermetals and residual materials found in the “black mass”. Downstream, the nickel tetracarbonyl vaporsare introduced into a high-temperature zone (ca. 200 to 500°C) where the carbonyl decomposes intopure nickel metal film or powder and CO gas, which is then recycled back to the carbonylation reactor.The project will focus on identification of optimal process conditions and equipment design for this newsource of “urban mining” materials and high-purity nickel products needed for the production ofadvanced, high-capacity rechargeable batteries.