Rare metals cover a wide range of metals including refractory metals like titanium, vanadium, tungsten etc and Li-ion battery materials such as Co, Ni, Mn and Li. Swerim has in the past years developed a number of technologies aiming for efficient extraction of these metals using the pilot testing facilities including electric DC furnaces of 5 MVA and a TBRC converter of 5 tons.
This lecture will focus on the metallurgical principle of production of these metals, the existing technologies and their major challenges ahead. The importance of the role of pyrometallurgy will be addressed and discussed. To illustrate the discussed metallurgical approaches, results from some of the most recent development projects carried out at Swerim relevant for this topic will be highlighted. These include:
- Processing of steelmaking slag for efficient extraction of vanadium
- Processing of spent Li-ion batteries for efficient recovery f Co, Ni, Mn and Li