Determination of the Li distribution in synthetic recycling slag with SIMS
The recovery of technically important elements like lithium from slag of pyrometallurgical recycling of lithium traction batteries will be very important in future due to the expected increasing demand of this element with the upcoming world-wide implementation of electro mobility. Therefore, the investigation of possibilities to recover lithium from pyrometallurgical slag from the recycling of lithium traction batteries is mandatory. In this context, the EnAM (engineered artificial mineral) approach is very promising. Solidified melt of synthetic recycling slag with the compounds Li2O-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2-CaO-MnO contains various Li-bearing phases including spinel solid solution, Li-aluminate and eucryptite-like Li-alumosilicate. Most probably, the Ca-alumosilicate matrix (melilite-like solid solution) incorporates lithium as well. These compounds can be determined and calculated to an acceptable approximation with electron probe microanalysis (EPMA). Nevertheless, an adequate precise measurement of lithium is virtually impossible due to the extremely low fluorescence yield and long wavelength of Li Kα. Secondary mass spectrometry (SIMS) can be used to fill this gap in the analytical assessment of the slag. Therefore, the combination of these two analytical methods can distinctively improve the mineralogical and chemical characterization of lithium-containing solidified (slag) melt.