Detrimental Effects Of Dissociated NMC On Aquatic Microorganisms

As the dependence on lithium batteries increased with an elevated demand for clean energy, it became increasingly important to consider the effect of these batteries on the environment. Nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) made up many of these batteries and could dissociate in aquatic environments. Prior experiments, such as Hang et. Al. 2016, reported detrimental effects of dissociated NMC on aquatic microorganisms.1 In the first part of this project, the objective was to explore and develop an effective method to measure nickel (Ni) and cobalt (Co) concentration spectrophotometrically. This step was crucial for the second part of the project, which was to quantitatively analyze the impacts of glucose on the dissolution of these metal ions. The scope of this project could only focus on the effect of one variable; whether in fact, many other variables such as pH, salinity, and phosphate ions could also affect the dissociation of NMC particles. However, by focusing on one variable at time, a more general hypothesis could be drawn and utilized in the treatment of waste batteries.
Background information on how glucose could form complexes with metal ions were studied from the Dolezal article. Even though the study was conducted on mannitol, glucose and mannitol
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Doolittle’s handout suggested 0.04 g of NMC per 200 mL of solution (or 200 mg/L). From the Hang paper’s findings on expected dissolution of ions over 72 hours, it was estimated that the combined dissolution of Ni and Co would be around 384μM (272μM for Ni and 112μM for Co) for 200 mg/L of NMC. The experimental data from Trial 1 were discarded due to error in the initial calibration curves. Jan Dolezal’s paper suggested that the sugar to NMC ratio varied between 0.5:1 and 2:1. However, in Trial 2, a wider range of ratios were chosen to explore the effect of small particles. A positive control was made with the expected Ni and Co concentrations and no NMC. For Trial 2 the vessels were made as seen

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