Metso to provide energy-efficient, sustainable precursor cathode active material production process

Metso is launching the Metso pCAM plant, an intelligent Planet Positive-certified solution for the manufacturing of precursor cathode active material, which is needed in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

Centred around an energy-efficient pCAM reactor, PSI® 1000 particle size analyser and pCAM process control, Metso’s pCAM plant integrates advanced technology and decades of know-how to ensure an energy-efficient and sustainable production process, Metso says.

Mikko Rantaharju, Vice President, Hydrometallurgy at Metso, said: “The growing use of high-performance lithium-ion batteries with enhanced energy density, fast charging capabilities and improved safety features is driving the demand for high-quality and sustainable precursor materials. As a strong and reliable partner for the development of lithium hydroxide and other battery minerals projects, we are the first Western supplier able to also deliver an optimised pCAM plant for the manufacturing of premium precursor cathode active material.”

For active cathode precursor manufacturing, Metso’s offering ranges from optimised raw materials selection to design and delivery of the pCAM plant and related services, it says. The production process consists of metal sulphate feed preparation, co-precipitation of mixed metal hydroxide and filtration. The design of the OKTOP® reactor used in the process enables high throughput with a smaller footprint for batch, semi-batch and continuous operation with one reactor set-up, and improved yield thanks to advanced process control and on-line analysers.

To support the customers in optimised raw material selection and process design, Metso uses its own in-house pCAM process development, testing and pilot facilities. The Metso pCAM plants are Planet Positive-certified, ensuring low energy and water consumption. Rantaharju notes: “Based on Life Cycle Impact Assessment, we found that the Metso pCAM process features remarkable sustainability benefits – it reduced water consumption by circa-52% and CO2 emissions by circa-31%. Also, power usage decreased by circa-27%.”