Sodium Nickel Chloride NaNiCl2

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The Na/NiCh or ZEBRA battery is another high temperature system that resembles Na/S in some respects. However, the design of the system reduces operational hazards from certain failure modes such as cell shorting. This battery has been road tested in about 90 vehicles [38] including the Mercedes A-class EV, although it is not currently slated for commercialization. A recycling process for the battery has been outlined and appears to be feasible. Detailed cost analyses have not been done, but the presence of nickel offers a stronger possibility of recovered value than for Na/S. The sodium/nickel chloride cell, if completely discharged, no longer contains dangerous (reactive) materials since the products of the cell reaction are NaCl and nickel [39], The battery is therefore shorted before beginning the recycling process.

Soluble components such as NiCl2, NaCl, and NaAlCL) are leached out after slicing the cells into pieces. These soluble components are further separated by precipitating the nickel as nickel sulfide and subsequent crystallization of NaCl and NaAlCL from the solution. The insoluble case material and ceramics undergo mechanical sieving and magnetic separation, and the valuable components such as the metals are recovered for metallurgical processing and subsequent reuse. Unfortunately, the relatively expensive beta" alumina ceramic electrolyte would most likely go to very low-value uses at first or be sent to disposal. The cost would likely be strongly influenced by the price of nickel, since that is the most valuable constituent. Recovery of all the nickel is important if the process is to be carried out in locations that regulate nickel for disposal. A preliminary evaluation of recycling costs showed that these are just about offset by the value of the recovered materials [40].

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