Eye on Lithium: Scientists extract lithium from ‘unconventional’ water sources
All your ASX lithium news for Thursday, July 28
At the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, researchers are looking to unconventional water sources to extract lithium – namely oil-and gas-produced water, geothermal brines, and rejected brines from seawater desalination.
Assistant Professor Chong Liu has analysed more than 122,000 unconventional water sources, she and her team discovered that there is, in fact, enough lithium within these sources to make it worthwhile to extract.
They also found that the composition of these sources—the amount of sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium—can affect extraction performance of an emerging technology, providing key insights for refining and optimising it.
The process uses electrochemical intercalation, where electrode materials or membranes drive ions from the water source into a solid structure.
But these water sources also contain ions that are very similar to lithium ions in both mass and charge, like sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
The team found that sodium acts as a competitor for storage sites within the material framework, while magnesium and calcium can affect the charge transfer of lithium, affecting how selective the material ultimately is.
“This shows that the key challenge of the electrochemical intercalation method is how to improve lithium selectivity compared to sodium,” Liu says. “We show that is the main concern that scientists should consider going forward.
“We have better defined the playground, and now more people can join in and study lithium extraction.”
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Fairly green day. A total of 72 stocks were in the green, 40 were flat and 19 were red.
The company kicked off its maiden RC drilling program over the Shaw River Lithium-Tin-Tantalum Project.
No modern exploration for lithium was conducted over the historic tin–tantalum mine and only shallow auger drilling was used in the alluvial grade control drilling to only 7-metre maximum depths.
The RC drilling will be specially targeting pegmatites from surface and depths to determine the nature of battery metal mineralisation.
MinRex is planning 25,000m of drilling in the next 12 months over all its lithium assets in the Pilbara.
RLC said today it’s not proceeding with filing of claims in the Northern McDermitt Caldera, in Oregon USA, which it staked last quarter.
The company has received advice from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that the areas are withdrawn from location of mining claims, this means that no claims can be filed and thereby validated in the areas that were staked – and that RLC is not continuing with its Alvord lithium brine project in the Northern McDermitt Caldera.
LIT subsidiary Envirostream has executed a recycling services agreement with Battery World, adding over 100 collection sites nationally for spent batteries – including lithium batteries.
Along with the collection sites, the deal boosts the total available consumer drop off points to more than 800 – which Envirostream says means the potential to increase recycling volumes.