University of Oulu

Teemu Tuovinen, Pekka Tynjälä, Tuomas Vielma, Ulla Lassi, Utilization of waste sodium sulfate from battery chemical production in neutral electrolytic pickling, Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 324, 2021, 129237, ISSN 0959-6526,

Utilization of waste sodium sulfate from battery chemical production in neutral electrolytic pickling

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Author: Tuovinen, Teemu1; Tynjälä, Pekka1,2; Vielma, Tuomas1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Research Unit of Sustainable Chemistry, P.O. Box 3000, FI-90014, Finland
2University of Jyvaskyla, Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius, Talonpojankatu 2B, FI-67100, Kokkola, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-01-13


Several industrial activities produce metal sulfates, which are controlled by strict limitations for wastewater concentrations of sulfate. One emerging area where these activities occur is the production of lithium-ion battery chemicals in which sodium sulfates are formed because of cathode precursor co-precipitation. Several solutions for sulfate removal exist, but one option is to reuse the sulfate side stream in other processes to increase circular economy and atom efficiency. In this paper, the reuse of sodium sulfate solution in a steel industry pickling solution is considered. Neutral electrolytic pickling experiments were carried out to compare the pickling behavior of the electrolyte dissolved from pure sodium sulfate and the electrolyte diluted from a side stream solution. Effect of impure electrolyte was evaluated using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS). Concentrations of the metal ions were determined by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The results indicated a slight increase in current efficiency with the side stream electrolyte solution, while overall the pickling behavior remained similar. This suggests that a side stream sodium sulfate solution could be used as a pickling electrolyte, reducing the need for pure reagents.

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Series: Journal of cleaner production
ISSN: 0959-6526
ISSN-E: 1879-1786
ISSN-L: 0959-6526
Volume: 324
Article number: 129237
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.129237
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The authors want to acknowledge the research funding by Business Finland (University of Oulu, BATCircle, Dnro 5877/31/2018).
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (