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Selective lithium separation from desalination concentrates via the synergy of extractant mixtures

Abstract: Seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plants generate high volumes of concentrates, which contain, in addition to major salts, some elements of growing interest in minor concentrations. This is the case of lithium, highly demanded in the battery industry. In this work, the separation of Li+ from model SWRO brines has been evaluated by obtaining Li+ extraction curves with the combination of extractants DBM-TOPO and FDOD-TOPO, proving that both mixtures are capable of extracting Li+ under basic pH conditions, due to the keto-enolic tautomerism of the b-diketones. Li+ extraction values of 95.4 % for DBM-TOPO (pH = 12.2) and 100 % for FDOD-TOPO (pH = 9.0) were achieved. This behaviour was verified by the FT-IR analysis of the sample before and after the Li+ extraction. Finally, the selective separation of Li+ against other cations, such as Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+ and Sr2+, present in the model brines at higher concentrations, was determined. Under mentioned experimental conditions, these cations are not extracted, reaching to Li+ selective separation close to 100 %. This study shows the first results on the selective extraction of lithium in complex SWRO brines, fostered through promising extractants mixtures showing a synergic effect towards Li+ in such multicomponent matrices.

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 Autoría: Fernández-Escalante E., Ibañez R., San-Román M.F.,

 Fuente: Desalination, 2023, 556, 116525

Editorial: Elsevier

 Fecha de publicación: 15/06/2023

Nº de páginas: 9

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2023.116525

ISSN: 0011-9164

Proyecto español: PID2020-115409RB-I00

Url de la publicación: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.desal.2023.116525