Cobalt (Co) has exceptional high-temperature strength, corrosion-resistance, catalytic properties, and exceptional strength for electrochemical applications. This makes it a crucial element for high performance applications where EU is in the leads, e.g. jet engines and electrical power generation turbines, specialty high strength steel, samarium cobalt magnets, bind wear-resistant alloys, chemical industries and oil refineries. The largest market share for cobalt is batteries: about 42% of the overall current cobalt demand worldwide is related to the production of lithium-ion battery (LIB) cathodes. The secondary production, mainly from spent batteries, super alloys and hard metals, covers currently only around 35% of the European demand, while the remaining 65%, is being imported from geopolitically unstable countries. Due to its supply risk, economic importance and the current absence of a valid substitution alternative in its main applications, cobalt has been classified over the past years by the EC as a critical raw material (CRM). Demand for metallurgical cobalt will continue growing against supply, and significant increase in demand of non-metallurgical or cobalt chemicals used in rechargeable batteries will cause deep deficit. The combined effect is expected to result in a projected deficit of greater than 15,000 tons annually by 2020. It is not surprising that the two most powerful economies on earth (USA and China) are taking serious actions towards securing the supply of cobalt. The overall CROCODILE project objective is to demonstrate, on a large scale, novel economically and environmentally viable metallurgical systems integrating different technologies for the recovery of cobalt from a wide variety of secondary and primary European resources. The main aim is to: i) Demonstrate scaled-up innovative integrated systems and technologies capable of enhancing the efficiency of existing raw materials recovery processes in different locations in Europe. ii) Develop a new mobile system with the capability of producing cobalt metal to enable new business opportunities and expand the business across the EU. iii) Build a strong value chain capable of supplying the European industry in the mid-term range with 10,000 ton of cobalt per year (about 65% of the current EU demand) from mainly European resources, making therefore the EU highly resilient to the supply risk of cobalt. For the recovery of cobalt and the production of cobalt metal and upstream products, the CROCODILE project will showcase innovative metallurgical systems based on advanced pyro-, hydro-, bio-, iono- and electro- metallurgy technologies over a wide variety of secondary and primary European resources. The project will demonstrate the synergy of integrating innovative metallurgical processes within existing recovery processes from primary and secondary sources at different locations in Europe, to enhance their efficiency, improve their economic and environmental values, and provide a zero-waste strategy. The new established value chain in this project will reduce the very high supply risk of cobalt for Europe, provide SMEs with novel business opportunities, and consolidate the business of large refineries with economically and environmentally friendly technologies and decouple their business from currently unstable supply of feedstocks.

Crocodile project: first of a kind commercial compact system for the efficient recovery of cobalt designed with novel integrated leading technologies / Siriwardana, Amal; Yurramendi, Lourdes; Hidalgo, Jokin; Baldassari, Ludovica; Moscardini, Emanuela; Altimari, Pietro; Pagnanelli, Francesca; Toro, Luigi; Sgarioto, Serena; Ferrari, Bibiana; Akil, Nader; Stein, Valentin. - (2018). ((Intervento presentato al convegno Going Green CARE INNOVATION 2018 tenutosi a Vienna; Austria.

Crocodile project: first of a kind commercial compact system for the efficient recovery of cobalt designed with novel integrated leading technologies

Emanuela, Moscardini;Pietro, Altimari;Francesca, Pagnanelli;Luigi, Toro;
2018

Abstract

Cobalt (Co) has exceptional high-temperature strength, corrosion-resistance, catalytic properties, and exceptional strength for electrochemical applications. This makes it a crucial element for high performance applications where EU is in the leads, e.g. jet engines and electrical power generation turbines, specialty high strength steel, samarium cobalt magnets, bind wear-resistant alloys, chemical industries and oil refineries. The largest market share for cobalt is batteries: about 42% of the overall current cobalt demand worldwide is related to the production of lithium-ion battery (LIB) cathodes. The secondary production, mainly from spent batteries, super alloys and hard metals, covers currently only around 35% of the European demand, while the remaining 65%, is being imported from geopolitically unstable countries. Due to its supply risk, economic importance and the current absence of a valid substitution alternative in its main applications, cobalt has been classified over the past years by the EC as a critical raw material (CRM). Demand for metallurgical cobalt will continue growing against supply, and significant increase in demand of non-metallurgical or cobalt chemicals used in rechargeable batteries will cause deep deficit. The combined effect is expected to result in a projected deficit of greater than 15,000 tons annually by 2020. It is not surprising that the two most powerful economies on earth (USA and China) are taking serious actions towards securing the supply of cobalt. The overall CROCODILE project objective is to demonstrate, on a large scale, novel economically and environmentally viable metallurgical systems integrating different technologies for the recovery of cobalt from a wide variety of secondary and primary European resources. The main aim is to: i) Demonstrate scaled-up innovative integrated systems and technologies capable of enhancing the efficiency of existing raw materials recovery processes in different locations in Europe. ii) Develop a new mobile system with the capability of producing cobalt metal to enable new business opportunities and expand the business across the EU. iii) Build a strong value chain capable of supplying the European industry in the mid-term range with 10,000 ton of cobalt per year (about 65% of the current EU demand) from mainly European resources, making therefore the EU highly resilient to the supply risk of cobalt. For the recovery of cobalt and the production of cobalt metal and upstream products, the CROCODILE project will showcase innovative metallurgical systems based on advanced pyro-, hydro-, bio-, iono- and electro- metallurgy technologies over a wide variety of secondary and primary European resources. The project will demonstrate the synergy of integrating innovative metallurgical processes within existing recovery processes from primary and secondary sources at different locations in Europe, to enhance their efficiency, improve their economic and environmental values, and provide a zero-waste strategy. The new established value chain in this project will reduce the very high supply risk of cobalt for Europe, provide SMEs with novel business opportunities, and consolidate the business of large refineries with economically and environmentally friendly technologies and decouple their business from currently unstable supply of feedstocks.
Going Green CARE INNOVATION 2018
Cobalt; lithium ion batteries; recycling
04 Pubblicazione in atti di convegno::04b Atto di convegno in volume
Crocodile project: first of a kind commercial compact system for the efficient recovery of cobalt designed with novel integrated leading technologies / Siriwardana, Amal; Yurramendi, Lourdes; Hidalgo, Jokin; Baldassari, Ludovica; Moscardini, Emanuela; Altimari, Pietro; Pagnanelli, Francesca; Toro, Luigi; Sgarioto, Serena; Ferrari, Bibiana; Akil, Nader; Stein, Valentin. - (2018). ((Intervento presentato al convegno Going Green CARE INNOVATION 2018 tenutosi a Vienna; Austria.
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