Mild solvent extracts cobalt from batteries

University researchers in Texas are developing a nontoxic leaching solution to recover cobalt and lithium from end-of-life batteries.Two Rice University scientists have formulated a solvent that can extract material

from the cathodes used in lithium-ion batteries. The solution is termed a “deep eutectic solvent” and is made from choline chloride and ethylene glycol.

It has been shown to recover a “significant” amount of cobalt from used batteries, according to a university release.

“The nice thing about this deep eutectic solvent is that it can dissolve a wide variety of metal oxides,” said researcher Kimmai Tran, in a statement.

“It’s literally made of a chicken feed additive and a common plastic precursor that, when mixed together at room temperature, form a clear, relatively nontoxic solution that has effective solvating properties.”