International news within the industry of mining and metal, Aug, 15 2018
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New recovery method for lithium

A new recovery method could increase the availability of lithium for example smartphones. Photo:  Wikimedia, Lundgaard
A new recovery method could increase the availability of lithium for example smartphones. Photo: Wikimedia, Lundgaard
Published by
Markku Björkman - 12 Feb 2018

Continuing progress in mobile devices and electric cars has made the global demand for lithium rapidly expanding beyond our ability to break and recycle lithium, but an international group of researchers could have a solution.

Benny Freeman at the University of Texas in the United States, along with colleagues in Australia, has discovered a new, effective way to extract lithium and other metals and minerals from water. The researchers' method is based on a membrane that mimics the filtration in biological cell membranes. This makes it possible to easily and efficiently separate metal ions.

Wastewater from hydraulic fracking in Texas contains large amounts of lithium. Instead of losing it, the new method could make it possible to extract this lithium.

Freeman and his colleagues estimate that from the wastewater produced for just one week, it would be possible to extract enough lithium to make up to 200 electric cars or 1.6 million smartphones.

Translated by Markku Björkman

Published by
Alarik Haglund - February 12, 2018