4 years ago

Recovery of Lithium from Geothermal Brine with Lithium–Aluminum Layered Double Hydroxide Chloride Sorbents

Recovery of Lithium from Geothermal Brine with Lithium–Aluminum Layered Double Hydroxide Chloride Sorbents
managing.editor@est.acs.org (American Chemical Society)
We report a three-stage bench-scale column extraction process to selectively extract lithium chloride from geothermal brine. The goal of this research is to develop materials and processing technologies to improve the economics of lithium extraction and production from naturally occurring geothermal and other brines for energy storage applications. A novel sorbent, lithium aluminum layered double hydroxide chloride (LDH), is synthesized and characterized with X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), and thermogravimetric analysis. Each cycle of the column extraction process consists of three steps: (1) loading the sorbent with lithium chloride from brine; (2) intermediate washing to remove unwanted ions; (3) final washing for unloading the lithium chloride ions. Our experimental analysis of eluate vs feed concentrations of Li and competing ions demonstrates that our optimized sorbents can achieve a recovery efficiency of ∼91% and possess excellent Li apparent selectivity of 47.8 compared to Na ions and 212 compared to K ions, respectively in the brine. The present work demonstrates that LDH is an effective sorbent for selective extraction of lithium from brines, thus offering the possibility of effective application of lithium salts in lithium-ion batteries leading to a fundamental shift in the lithium supply chain.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b03464

DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b03464

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