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Analysis of rare earths elements in spent nickel metal hydride batteries using a portable laser ablation sampling device with laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

Grant number: 15/12240-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): January 25, 2016
Effective date (End): June 24, 2016
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Edenir Rodrigues Pereira Filho
Grantee:Francisco Wendel Batista de Aquino
Supervisor abroad: Bodo Hattendorf
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland  
Associated to the scholarship:13/04688-7 - Development of spectroanalytical methods for direct determination of toxic elements in polymeric materials of electronic waste by Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, BP.PD


The continuous growth of the electric and electronic sales has led to a large quantity of batteries discarded and recyclable from their end-of-life devices. Despite the Nickel metal hydride batteries (NiMH) are considered environmentally acceptable in recent years LiBs (Lithium-ion based batteries) gradually replaced the NiMH. However, the market from NiMH do not be overlooked in function of the applications where the characteristics of the NiMH still exhibit technical advantages. The NiMH batteries are assembled with large amounts of Ni and present considerable amounts of others expensive raw materials as cobalt and mainly the rare earths elements (REEs). In function of the high prices, large applications and limited natural sources of REEs a great number of recycling have been developed in recent years. Concerning the current spectrometric methodologies used for REEs determinations in e-waste matrix (ICP-OES, ICP-MS, FAAS, GFAAS) the sample preparation steps normally presents the limitation often are laborious, expensive, not completely environmentally friendly or sometimes limited in relation their analytical frequency. On the other hand, the direct methods (e.g. X-ray fluorescence spectrometry) presents limitations in relation its precision and sensibility. The main goal of this project is develop a method using a new portable laser ablation sampling device suitable for analysis of the rare earths and the other metals presents in NiMH spent batteries via laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS).