Utilizing Microalgae in Recycling Used Batteries: A Path to Sustainabl…

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댓글 0건 조회 551회 작성일 23-08-10 08:14

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2023년 7월 17일 오후 9:00 GMT+9

   Utilizing Microalgae in Recycling Used Batteries: A Path to Sustainable
                   Eco-friendliness and Economic Viability

  PR Newswire

  SEOUL, South Korea, July 17, 2023

SEOUL, South Korea, July 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- A news report from JoongAng
Ilbo:

With the rise in demand of electric vehicles, new challenges have emerged.
Particularly, proper disposal of used batteries, which poses a severe
environmental threat. While recycling heavy metals like lithium, cobalt,
manganese, nickel, and others found in batteries is the preferred approach,
the extraction process often leads to environmental pollution. Currently, the
lack of advanced technology makes recycling more expensive than disposal.

However, one company has successfully tackled this formidable challenge. Green
Mineral Inc. has pioneered a groundbreaking technology that harnesses the
power of microalgae to extract lithium from used batteries, marking a
significant global milestone. Jung Kwang-Hwan, the representative of Green
Mineral, was interviewed at his research lab in Sogang University, Mapo-gu,
Seoul, on the 30th afternoon last month. Jung emphasized, "In contrast to
conventional chemical methods that rely on organic solvents for battery
recycling, our environmentally friendly approach provides ecological benefits
while also being economically viable." He described this as a "paradigm shift
in the realm of used battery recycling."

As a professor in the Department of Life Sciences at Sogang University, Jung
initially conducted research on using microalgae to eliminate substances
emitting radiation. Over a decade ago, he made a significant discovery
regarding the applicability of this technology for extracting lithium from
used batteries.

His attention was drawn to the presence of Chlorella, a type of microalgae.
Chlorella, renowned as a functional food, possesses the unique ability to
convert metal ions such as lithium into carbonates. "It operates on a
principle similar to the process of shellfishes creating shells," Jung
explained. "When calcium enters the cell membrane of shellfishes and reacts
with carbon dioxide, it undergoes a transformation into calcium carbonate,
which solidifies and releases. Likewise, Chlorella exhibits a similar reaction
with lithium, leading to biomineralization, where cells form minerals."

The most significant benefit of Chlorella is its environmentally friendly
nature. The typical method of recycling used batteries involves a chemical
treatment, by processing a black powder to extract metals such as cobalt,
nickel, manganese, etc. The wastewater, dissolved in sulfuric acid and other
substances, lacks a feasible recycling method and is mostly disposed of.
Recycling batteries incurs higher costs compared to discarding them. However,
by utilizing Chlorella, lithium can even be extracted from wastewater.
Additionally, Chlorella absorbs carbon dioxide, contributing to carbon
neutrality.

Representative Jung embarked on a global journey to procure Chlorella. During
this journey, he successfully developed a new strain of Chlorella through
genetic manipulation, which exhibited improved metal extraction capabilities.
His aim was to increase lithium production and enhance Chlorella cultivation
in large quantities. Thanks to this, Green Mineral is now able to recover 20kg
out of 28kg of lithium from used batteries in electric vehicles. The use of
Chlorella for lithium extraction is cost-effective, as it is more affordable
than organic solvents, making it an economically viable solution. It is
acknowledged as the sole method for both economically and environmentally
friendly extraction of lithium.

Green Mineral is currently in the process of filing patent applications in
various countries, including Korea, the United States, the European Union,
Japan, and China. The objective is to secure a market share of over 30% in the
global recycled lithium market. Jung emphasizes, "There seems to be a
prejudice that being environmentally friendly lacks economic viability in
business. However, a good technology should encompass both environmental
sustainability and economic feasibility. That's the main principle of ESG. We
aim to revive society, the environment, and business through eco-friendly
battery recycling technology."

Video - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2154296/video.mp4 Photo -
https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2154306/20230714_81593938__3.jpg  

View original content:
https://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/utilizing-microalgae-in-recycling-used-batteries-a-path-to-sustainable-eco-friendliness-and-economic-viability-301877472.html

Contact: Name:Kwanghwan Jun, Email: kjung@green-mineral.com,
Contact:+82-010-3421-1973

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