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Author: Subject: Probably a very stupid idea to get lithium from a battery
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[*] posted on 22-8-2015 at 20:59
Probably a very stupid idea to get lithium from a battery


Hey,

Straight to the point: we all know we can get lithium by taking out from an energizer battery, and we all know the problem with this is that the lithium oxidizes really quickly..

So.... I was thinking: what if we were to extract the lithium from the battery UNDER mineral oil. As in filling a container with oil, dumping the battery in and working under the oil to extract it in order to prevent oxidation?

A part of me tells me this is a very stupid idea, as any spark generated by the battery will be enough to cause the mineral oil to light up... Obviously unpleasant

But another part of me thinks that maybe it won't light up? I believe I read that mineral oil requires quite a lot of heat to ignite...

Could this technique work? Opinions?
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[*] posted on 22-8-2015 at 22:26


Depends on what mineral oil are you using. The heavier lubricant oils do not light up easily. Probably even diesel fuel will be somewhat spark resistant, but nevertheless I would prefer heavy mineral oil just to be on the safe side.



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[*] posted on 22-8-2015 at 22:53


Use baby oil.Make sure that it is mineral oil,otherwise,there will be a surprise.
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[*] posted on 22-8-2015 at 23:19


a spark wont light up oil. it needs to be heated considerably to ignite by spark. you should get a nice piece of Li by this procedure.



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[*] posted on 22-8-2015 at 23:46


The ease of doing this depends on the battery. Some old design lithium batteries had a solid plug of lithium which was easy to extract and get useful lithium from. Most modern designs use lithium foil which is a pain. I think rayco were one of the "solid lithium" designs.



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[*] posted on 23-8-2015 at 00:02


If you are only looking for lithium ion, it is stupid idea.
If you are looking for lithium metal, good.

You can also extract it from stone or soil.
One kg soil has 10 - 20 mg Li.
Meaning that 10 kg soil has more than one Li-ion battery.
But only do that if you need other elements also.
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[*] posted on 23-8-2015 at 02:20


Quote: Originally posted by PKMN  
If you are only looking for lithium ion, it is stupid idea.
If you are looking for lithium metal, good.

You can also extract it from stone or soil.
One kg soil has 10 - 20 mg Li.
Meaning that 10 kg soil has more than one Li-ion battery.
But only do that if you need other elements also.

Soil as a starting material sounds like a lot of hard work.
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[*] posted on 23-8-2015 at 07:14


by keeping the battery under oil while extracting the Li foil there will be no sparks .
if the battery is shorted and starts to heat up the oil should still not ignite.
use a large amount of oil so you can work and extract the metal under the surface.
even with diesel (not the best healthy choice) it has to be heated . even an open flame wont ignite cold diesel.
the vapors are burning not the liquid with a hot (or warm) liquid, more vapors can mix with air until there is enough combustible vapors to reach the lower limit of ignition .




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[*] posted on 23-8-2015 at 07:26


Quote: Originally posted by PKMN  
If you are only looking for lithium ion, it is stupid idea.
If you are looking for lithium metal, good.

You can also extract it from stone or soil.
One kg soil has 10 - 20 mg Li.
Meaning that 10 kg soil has more than one Li-ion battery.
But only do that if you need other elements also.


You rightly claim that if you're looking for 'lithium ion' then using a lithium metal battery is 'stupid idea'.

Yet extracting lithium ions from soil is also 'stupid idea'. The extraction of lithium compounds from high quality ores is already hard enough, never mind from generic 'soil'.




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[*] posted on 23-8-2015 at 10:19


Although this method should work nicely to prevent oxidation, you've missed an important practical detail. Anyone who's ever opened a lithium battery will know how strongly they are constructed; accessing the lithium is difficult, fiddly and frustrating in open air using two hands, let alone under slippery oil.



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[*] posted on 23-8-2015 at 11:03


there is an easy way with a pipe cutter... its fast and would easily be done under mineral oil as well...

there was a thread on that somewhere...




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[*] posted on 23-8-2015 at 17:32


Quote: Originally posted by neptunium  
there is an easy way with a pipe cutter... its fast and would easily be done under mineral oil as well

I've tried to open a Li battery with a pipe cutter and it wasn't easy. The pipe cutter tended to pinch in the end of the battery so that once the end was taken off, the contents of the battery could not easily be pulled put.
Also the only way I could get a good grip on the battery was to put it in a vice, which is something you can't do while the battery is submerged in oil. Perhaps some vice grips would work better.

One possible alternative to doing this in a big vat of oil is to just regularly dip the battery in oil as you take it apart. Mineral oil is moderately viscous so you should get a persistent coating, and this method has the advantage that you don't need lots of oil and you can use big tools to help you open the battery.
I have a feeling cutting lengthwise carefully with a dremel wheel could work well.
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[*] posted on 23-8-2015 at 18:25


practice practice practice.... i can get Lithium out of 10 battery in less than 8 minutes... pipe cutter and needle nose thats it.



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[*] posted on 23-8-2015 at 19:34


I use a hacksaw blade (carefully) since I have no pipe cutter. Once the cut is made in the casing then the rest is easy with pliers.
I think I will attempt the next extraction under oil. It should be a cleaner result.
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[*] posted on 24-8-2015 at 16:30


Build you a boxglove in inert atmosphere, CO2, Argon,Nitrogen. Is apparatously and someone expensive but effective.
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[*] posted on 28-8-2015 at 13:20


Quote: Originally posted by GrayGhost  
Build you a boxglove in inert atmosphere, CO2, Argon,Nitrogen. Is apparatously and someone expensive but effective.


Definitely not nitrogen. Lithium can react with that, too.




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[*] posted on 29-8-2015 at 07:05


Dremel on a flexible arm thing is working for me under oil.

I am using cutting discs attached to the flexi arm and cutting just under the oil, it splashes a bit of oil about but seems to be going ok.




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[*] posted on 29-8-2015 at 10:12


I don't have much of a use for lithium but I would recommend working the battery in a tray with raised edges, with only a cm or so of oil in it. I'm sure tools would be easier to use.



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