Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 250–261 | Cite as

Comparison of Hydro- and Biohydrometallurgical Extraction of Metals from Waste Li-Ion Batteries of Cell Phone

  • Bhumika R. Khatri
  • Devayani R. Tipre
  • Shailesh R. DaveEmail author
Research Article


In the present study, the black residual powders of waste Li-ion batteries were treated with citric, malic, and a combination of these acids for chemical extraction of multimetals. Among the treatments, 0.75 M malic + 0.75 M citric acid was found to be better than either 1.5 M citric acid or 1.5 M malic acid for 20 g L−1 pulp density at 90 °C. Bioleaching studies were carried out by Leptospirillum ferriphilum-dominated consortium using the two-step process, which resulted in 1.2–1.8-fold higher metal extractions compared to a one-step process. At optimal pH 2.0, Cu–Zn–Ni solubilization was 85 ± 2%, while Co and Li extractions were 97.2% and 33.96%, respectively, after 2–6 days with 10 g L−1 pulp density. When 9 g L−1 initial ferrous iron concentration was used, Cu–Zn–Ni–Co extractions were 92 ± 7%, whereas Li solubilization attained 37.74% within 2–8 days. Optimization of the bioleaching process resulted in 1.7–2.7-fold increase in metal extractions. Studies at 10, 50, and 100 g L−1 pulp densities showed that metal extraction operational time increased as the pulp density was increased, and the obtained extractions ranged between 83 and 40% for Cu, 93 and 54% for Zn, 91 and 27% in the case of Ni, 99 and 17% Co and Li extractions were 44 and 13%. For the spent medium at 10, 50, and 100 g L−1 pulp densities, Cu extraction ranged between 52 and 33%, Zn extractions between 78 and 39%, Ni extractions between 73 and 25%, Co extractions between 58 and 16%, and Li extractions between 22 and 5% within 4–6 days of reaction time. Presence of the consortium had a beneficial influence on the extraction of all the metals studied.


Bioleaching Li-ion battery Iron oxidizers Ferric Metals 



The authors are thankful to the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, for the Emeritus Fellowship to Prof. S.R Dave. Further, the authors duly acknowledge the financial support from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), New Delhi.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, School of SciencesGujarat UniversityAhmedabadIndia
  2. 2.Loyola Centre for Research and Development, XRFAhmedabadIndia

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