Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia have developed a continuous electrically-driven membrane process which successfully enriches lithium from seawater samples of the Red Sea by 43,000 times (i.e., from 0.21 to 9013.43 ppm) with a nominal Li/Mg selectivity >45 million. They precipitated lithium phosphate with a purity of 99.94% directly from the enriched solution, thereby meeting the purity requirements for application in the lithium battery industry. Preliminary economic analysis shows that the process can be made profitable when coupled with the Chlor-alkali industry. An open-access paper on their work is published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science . Seawater contains significant quantities of lithium—approximately 5,000 times more than is found on land—potentially providing an almost unlimited resource of lithium for meeting the rapid growth in demand for lithium batteries. However, lithium extraction from seawater is exceptionally challenging because of its […]