Purification of lithium chloride from brine

Purification of lithium chloride from brine

Save costs using MEGA electrodialysis in brine lithium extraction

Did you know?

MEGA ED technology concentrates lithium chloride (LiCl) 2× higher than conventional RO.

MEGA application for purification LiCl – South America/Canada/China

MEGA application for purification LiCl – South America/Canada/China

Gain high-grade lithium using unique, cost-effective electrodialysis technical solution implemented into the brine extraction process

MEGA solution possibilities for purification LiCl are in integrating cost-effective desalination phase electrodialysis in the conventional lithium brine extraction processes.

The main benefits of using MEGA electrodialysis for purification LiCl

MEGA technology lowers the cost of LiCl purification thanks to reduced evaporation and crystallization.

Upgrade your conventional lithium brine extraction process with cost-effective MEGA electrodialysis.

Separate NaCl, boron, silica and other unwanted impurities and concentrate LiCl up to 8 % w/v.

Would you like to know more about the benefits of using electrodialysis in conventional lithium brine extraction process?

Discover more

Lithium Chloride from brine extraction

What is LiCl

What is LiCl

Lithium chloride (formula LiCl) is a typical ionic compound with excellent solubility in polar solvents such as water. It is one of the primary sources of Lithium (Li+) metal. LiCl is mainly extracted from lithium brines.

Lithium brine deposits

Liquid lithium brine reservoirs are located beneath salt flats, known as salars, most of which are in South America, Canada, and China. Other lithium-rich brine resources include geothermal, seawater and oil field brines. Brine has a theoretical lithium content of about 3 %.

Use of Lithium chloride

Lithium chloride is mainly used for the production of lithium metal by electrolysis of a LiCl/KCl. LiCl is also used as a brazing flux for aluminium in automobile parts. It is frequently used as desiccants (for drying air streams) or in biochemical applications to precipitate RNA from cellular extracts.

Lithium brine extraction

Lithium brine extraction

Lithium salts such as LiCl are extracted from the brine deposit, separating the metal from other elements by pumping the lithium brine into evaporation ponds. The lithium evaporation ponds, also called salterns or salt pans, are designed to extract lithium salts naturally by solar evaporation. When the brine reaches the ideal concentration of lithium, it is pumped to a lithium recovery facility for extraction.

Lithium extraction typically involves the following steps: pretreatment, concentration and production.

Pretreatment - nanofiltration is mainly used in this step to remove any contaminants or unwanted constituents from the brine, especially hardness caused by Mg 2+.

Concentration is the next step usually accomplished by membrane technologies, such as reverse osmosis (RO), electrodialysis (ED), or a combination of RO with ED.

Lithium production is the final step when the brine is treated with a reagent, and the soluble product is filtered and dried for sale. Depending on the reagent, the appropriate form of marketable lithium is obtained, such as lithium carbonate, lithium hydroxide, lithium chloride etc.

Advanced electrodialysis system for lithium chloride purification from lithium brine extraction

Lithium recovery from brine using MEGA electrodialysis (EDR)

Lithium recovery from brine using MEGA electrodialysis (EDR)

Nowadays, most of the world production of lithium is extracted from brines. It is a prolonged process that uses evaporation ponds. Furthermore, the extraction is chemical-intensive and delivers large volumes of waste.

The goal of the MEGA solution is to improve today’s conventional methods of producing lithium chloride, and another object is to turn the waste feed into a new source.

MEGA electrodialysis for lithium purification is a unique technology consisting of cost-effective and highly efficient desalination. The output feed from conventional processes, which still contains high levels of lithium, is reused to gain high-grade lithium with lower operating costs. The implementation of ED into the traditional recovery of lithium process is twice as efficient as using RO alone.

Advanced electrodialysis system for lithium chloride purification from lithium brine extraction

How does it work?

The innovation is based on partial concentration by RO to roughly 40,000 mg/L concentrates followed by electrodialysis using demineralized water as the receiving water and concentrate to a level above 80,000 mg/L dissolved solids. After chelating IX and evaporation, a crystallizer is used to produce the final product, such as lithium chloride etc.

What is the proposed unit operation train

NF → RO + ED → EV → Crystallization

NF – Nanofiltration, RO – reverse osmosis, ED – electrodialysis, EV - evaporation

How could the block flow diagram work

The common NF permeate could be concentrated up to 4 times by RO with no antiscalant.

The RO retentate could be concentrated 2 times by EDR with no antiscalant.

The ED concentrate is purified by the B and Si removal unit.

The final concentration step is evaporation combined with LiCl / NaCl crystallization step. The product is commodity grade LiCl.

Benefits of using MEGA electrodialysis in conventional lithium brine extraction processes

Benefits of using MEGA electrodialysis in conventional lithium brine extraction processes

The current invention method aims to increase the Li yield of the entire production by recovering more lithium from the extraction process itself and additionally from the waste mother liquors. The main benefits of electrodialysis are:

  • Special configuration ED reduces the complexity of production and waste management.
  • ED is reaching high levels of silica and boron retention over 97 %.
  • Electrodialysis lowers the amount of water-salt solutions for handling.
  • Electrodialysis is saving costs for evaporation and crystallization.
  • Electrodialysis is pulling ions resulting in 80,000 mg/L maximal concentration for LiCl .
  • Green technology.

Limited lithium reserves and the increasing costs of its recovery are increasing pressure on lithium brine processors, who are facing new challenges in the cost and efficiency of current lithium brine recovery methods. Therefore MEGA has developed this new solution for lithium brine mining.

Request a free quotation for your lithium brine project

Our experts are ready to find the best solution for your lithium brine extraction project.

Our engineers and technologists prepare solutions tailored to your needs and requirements.

Please, fill out the form below. We will reach out to you as soon as possible.

Interested? Contact us.

Vitaly Bleskov

Vitaly Bleskov

Sales Manager

+420 602 737 400 vitaly.bleskov@mega.cz
Ales Platzer

Ales Platzer

Sales Manager

+420 702 176 317 ales.platzer@mega.cz
Lukas Semian

Lukas Semian

Sales Manager

+420 778 463 642 lukas.semian@mega.cz

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