Separation and Purification Technology, Vol.207, 1-11, 2018
Effect of coexisting ions on recovering lithium from high Mg2+/Li+ ratio brines by selective-electrodialysis
Selective-electrodialysis (S-ED) is a booming technology for recovering lithium from salt lake brine and (concentrated) seawater, especially from high Mg2+/Li+ ratio brines. The coexisting ions in the solutions containing lithium can make some impact on the ion fractionation of lithium and magnesium in high Mg2+/Li+ brines. The effect of the concentration of coexisting cations (Na+, K+) and anions (SO42-, HCO3-) on the separation coefficient of magnesium and lithium (F-Mg center dot Li), recovery ratio of Li+ (R-Li), current efficiency (eta) and specific energy consumption (E-SEC) was evaluated. The results show that an applied voltage of 6 V is more preferable for lithium ions recovery from high Mg2+/Li+ brines by S-ED. The separation of Mg2+/Li+ tends to unsatisfactory with increasing cation concentration (Na+, K+), and FMg-Li drops from 8.73 to 1.83 with the increase of Na+/Li+ from 1 to 5 and from 8.33 to 2.13 with the rise of K+/Li+ from 1 to 5. The strength of influence on the separation of Mg2+/Li+ is K+ > Na+, correlating with the order of their hydrated ion radiuses. However, FMg-Li rises from 7.99 to 14.66 with the increase of SO42-, reversing with the influence of cations concentration. As for HCO3-, the variation tendency of FMg-Li is opposite to R-Li, probably ascribing to the appearance of MgHCO3+. These observations showed that S-ED has a wide adaptability for the ion fractionation of magnesium and lithium from brines.
Keywords:Selective-electrodialysis (S-ED);Recovering lithium;High Me2+/Li+ ratio;Ion-fractionation;Coexisting ion