Electrochemical Recycling of Lithium Batteries using Molten Salts

(PhD Studentship)

Location: Coventry
Funding amount: £14,000 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Contract / Temporary
Placed on: 1st December 2016
Closes: 28th February 2017

Funding: Stipend of circa £14,000 per annum, for three years

Start date: As soon as possible

Supervisors: Dr Rohit Bhagat and Professor Sridhar Seetharaman

Project overview

Lithium batteries are multi-material, multi-component systems where it is difficult to separate and recover materials of value at the end of life. As such, only a small percentage of these batteries are recycled and the rest are sent to landfill. This is a lost economic opportunity and a growing source of waste in the UK. The aim of this project is to develop a molten salt method of recovering materials of value from batteries.

Previous work

The proposed process involves coupling of a borate and chloride molten salt. The borate salt chemistry can be engineered to absorb the metals of interest from lithium batteries [1]. The poor electrochemical performance of the borate necessitates a transfer of the ions from the borate to a chloride. Within the chloride, metals of interest can be electroplated and recovered. Thus far, the system has been demonstrated by recovering metals from metal oxides.


  • Study the interface between borate and chloride using electrochemical, optical, and x-ray methods
  • Electroplate individual metals from a chloride salt which has several metals dissolved
  • Recover metals from a lithium battery feedstock
  • Assess the energy requirements of the process

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a first class UK honours degree or equivalent, in a relevant discipline such as Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Material Science. Experience of molten salts, thermodynamics, electrochemistry or a MSc in a relevant subject is highly desirable.

For funding requirements, the applicant should be eligible as a UK/EU student.

To apply

To apply please complete our online enquiry form and upload your CV.