Extraction of valuable metals from wastewater, brine, and acid mine drainage

Lithium (Li) has captured attention due to growing demand for Li-ion batteries in renewable energy technologies. Ore bodies and brines are the primary sources of Li; the latter makes up >60% of the world’s Li resources. During Li extraction from brine, undesirable ions are removed by sequential evaporation/precipitation in large surface ponds, processes which are environmentally intrusive, inefficient and slow. Since 2017, our group has collaborated with industry partners to develop a patent-pending sorbent technology that can extract more than 99% of Li from sub-100 ppm petroleum brines found in Alberta. This research project aims to develop a more fundamental understanding of sorbent chemistry, which is necessary in order to tune its chemistry for optimal performance and commercialization.

Metal oxide sorbents for the sustainable recovery of lithium from unconventional resources

Daniel Alessi

Scholarly Refereed Journal