Huayou Cobalt Technology, R&D
（一）Main production technology
Huayou Cobalt is a 2006 national torch scheme hi-tech firm, Zhejiang 2008 recognized second batch national hi-tech. enterprise (passed re-examination in the end of 2011) and is qualified as a provincial level enterprise technical R&D center. Focusing on the objective of serving clients, saving energy, reducing emission and being environmentally friendly over the years, the company, through ceaseless R&D, owns the core technology integrating the complete process from highly efficient extraction of cobalt and copper to manufacture of high performance battery material precursor (including authorized patent technology and know-how for which patent has not been applied for), creating a complete technological system with its own features and advantages. Main core technologies owned by Huayou Cobalt at present are:
1.Copper/cobalt mine sectional continuous leaching technology. Compared with conventional technology, copper/cobalt metal leaching rate is improved and energy consumption reduced apparently by adopting the tech. It helps to achieve automatic control of the process, reduces labor intensity and increases productivity.
2.Copper/cobalt two-leaching two-extraction and copper electro-deposition combination tech. Acid produced during copper electro-deposition is utilized to the maximum by adopting the technology to reduce acid consumption in production, thus significantly reducing cost in cobalt/copper smelting; the technology won 2011 Zhejiang Sci-Tech. 3rd Prize.
3.Continuous de-ironing and sectional deslagging combination tech. It is patented technology developed independently by Huayou Cobalt. The main feature of the technology is to: Effectively remove debris in cobalt solution, improve iron slag filtration performance, reduce copper/cobalt loss, reduce energy consumption, improve metal recovery and solution quality, creating conditions for combined use of iron slag.
4.Ammonia containing wastewater membrance treatment-triple effect evaporation combination tech. It is patented technology developed independently by Huayou Cobalt. The main feature of the technology is to: Adopting multi-membrane joint condensing and triple effect evaporation combination, effectively solve the ammonia containing wastewater discharge difficulty generally existing in production of cobaltosic oxide, fully recycle ammonium chloride contained in process wastewater, achieving zero wastewater discharge, the apparent environmental benefit and economic benefit.
5.Extraction to remove calcium/magnesium tech. It is patented technology developed independently by Huayou Cobalt. The main feature of the technology is to: solve the treatment and discharge difficulty of slag and wastewater containing fluoride produced during calcium/magnesium removal from fluoride in conventional cobalt industry. Cheap acid alkali is used to replace expensive fluoride, simplifying purification, improving quality and metal recovery, reducing consumption of water, electricity and gas, achieving clean production objective, the apparent environmental benefit and economic benefit.
6.Controlled grain size cobaltosic oxide manufacture tech. It is patented technology developed independently by Huayou Cobalt. The main feature of the technology is to: Adopting DCS automatic controlled feeding, precisely control the creation of cobalt carbonate nucleus and growth rate; adopting grain surface repair tech., manufacture spherical cobaltosic oxide precursor meeting the needs of different client, providing technical safeguard for manufacture of high-density spheric cobaltosic oxide.
7.Spheric cobaltous hydroxide manufacture technology without complexing agent system It is patented technology developed independently by Huayou Cobalt. The main feature of the technology is to: It is possible to manufacture active, highly dense, oxidation low and highly spheric and grain size even controllable high quality cobaltous hydroxide by adopting DCS automatic control feeing and mist-drying combined technology.
8.Treating smelting wastewater with oxidation coagulation It is patented technology developed independently by Huayou Cobalt. The main feature of the technology is to: Treat organic wastewater containing heavy metal by adopting sodium chlorate oxidation and poly iron coagulation combined technique, solve the difficulty of intensive purification of organic wastewater, guaranteeing the content of COD and heavy metal in smelting wastewater is up to the requirement provided in “Copper, Nickel and Cobalt Industrial Contaminant Discharge Criteria” enacted from 2011.
9.Green copper/cobalt smelting tech. It is comprehensive copper/cobalt smelting new technology developed independently by Huayou Cobalt. The main feature of the technology is to: Integrate series copper/cobalt hydrometallurgy such as two-leaching two-extraction, ammonium salt chemical reduction, mineral slurry deironing, two-section saponification, extraction calcium/magnesium removal, zero wastewater discharge and re-use of slag. Being combination and application of several technical results, the technology demonstrates the company’s leading role in copper/cobalt joint smelting. It has been successfully applied in the design of the invested project with raised fund. It guarantees the leading role of the company in production technique, resources use and environmental technology of the projects invested with raised fund.
（二）Stage in which main production technology is
The technology has been adopted in the stage of batched production and proves stable and reliable.
（三） R&D and Staff
The chief engineer is in charge of the management, organization and coordination for R&D. A research institute is available in the company for technical innovation and new product development. Being a self circulated development scientific research unit, the institute is mainly engaged in new product, new technology and new process R&D and production technology service and aimed at building itself into a domestically first class R&D center. The technical R&D talent team available in the institute was honored in June 2012 Zhejiang Province Key Innovative Team (enterprise technical innovation team). The main tasks of the institute are to:
1.Explore new ways for tech.-economy combination, accelerate the transformation from tech. result to practical productivity and shorten the period of transformation;
2.Focusing on production, provide technical support to projects under construction or proposed that have major contribution to Huayou development, provide mature and associated technological process for sized production and promote the scientific progress and development of the sector;
3.Train high level technical talent required by the company and conduct full round exchange and cooperation within the sector in technical research and development;
4.Understand, master and innovate the introduced technology, carry out important technical standard study within the company and the sector and enable the standard to be technical dependence for the company to introduce advanced technology and improve quality.
The General Affairs Office, Sorting & Smelting Office, New Material Office and Design Office are set up in the institute. The division of duties: General Affairs Office: development of technical progress and development planning, technical management, project management, QCC and intellectual property management. Sorting& Smelting Office: development of, improvement and study on sorting, new smelting technique, new technology and new products, sorting and smelting related technical service and technical consulting. New Material Office: R&D of precursor products of Lithium-ion materials, technical support in preliminary marketing promotion and later technical service, integration plan R&D of precursor products, precursor volume production technical research and equip model selection, technical renovation plan for production of new material from existing production line, technical design of new project. Design Office: design of small projects or minor works.
The New Material Office was set up in 2013. In Lithium-ion battery anode precursor development, it combines technical experience accumulated over years, talent cultivation, introduction of internationally advanced technology and research talent and develops successfully the following: new cobaltosic oxide used in high density 4.35V/4.4V high voltage lithium cobalt oxides, ternary material precursor used in small size Lithium-ion battery anode and power Lithium-ion anode. These materials are under evaluation, testing and certification by renowned clients like Samsung SDI and LG Chemical.
（四）Technical innovation mechanism
1.Technical innovation concept
Huayou takes technical innovation as the first element for its development. Since its establishment, Huayou always upholds technical innovation principle of “independent innovation coring, introduction and understanding supplemented, manufacturer-school-research institute combined promoting”. It ceaselessly develops resources saving, environmentally friendly and client satisfactory new technology and new products, meeting increasingly rising need of customers, maintaining leading industrial technology and promoting endless upgrading of products.
2.Technical innovation policy safeguard
Huayou Cobalt promulgated following policies successively: “R&D Project Managing Rules”, “Technical Renovation and New Construction Managing Rules”, “Detailed Rules for Technical Renovation and New Construction Test Run”, "Patent Managing Rules”, “Technology Paper Publication Managing Rules” and “Sci-Tech. Progress Award Rules”. These rules are observed in work. They not only enhanced scientific research project full-process management and patent result control but also safeguarded and promoted technical innovation campaign.
Huayou Cobalt reviews scientific innovation and logical projects and scientific achievement, reasonable advice and pioneering scientific research personnel are commended and awarded every year.
3. Innovation in cooperation
The company, on the basis of independent R&D, always stresses cooperation with key scientific research institute, scientific enterprises and schools of higher education technically strong in the sector. In recent years, Huayou Cobalt established “manufacturer-school-research institute” cooperation with Beijing General Research Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, Zhejiang University, Central South University, East China University of Science and Technology, Northwest Research Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Guangzhou Research Institute of Non-Ferrous Metals and Hunan Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals. Among others, Huayou Cobalt established long-term cooperation with Central South University and established “Joint Research Base” jointly with the university Powder Metallurgy National Key Laboratory and National Engineering Research Center. Such extensive cooperation provides support for the company’s constant technical innovation.