Seawater Lithium Mining

A research paper published by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology suggests that scientists have found a way to extract high-purity lithium from seawater.

Seawater contains 5,000 times more lithium than sources found on land, but the concentration is very low with approximately 0.2 parts/million (ppm). However, researchers developed a method to extract lithium ions by utilizing an electrochemical cell with a ceramic membrane made from lithium lanthanum titanium oxide (LLTO).

Scientists were able to develop a process that can create lithium-enriched water with a concentration of more than 9,000 ppm and the final product is in a condition that meets battery manufacturers’ requirements.

Further, the process is inexpensive because the cell will only need $5 of electricity to extract 1 kilo of lithium from seawater. Scientists suggests that the residual seawater could be used in desalination plants for freshwater production.

The paper was published by the journal Energy & Environmental Science. To read the full report, please visit: https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2021/EE/D1EE00354B#!divAbstract