Membrane crystallization for recovery of lithium carbonate crystals: Study on process parameters and salts effect for Li2CO3-NaCl-KCl-LiCl solutions

Mohammad Mahdi A. Shirazi, Aamer Ali, Cejna Anna Quist-Jensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In this work, membrane crystallization (MCr) process was employed for recovery of lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) crystals from synthetic brine solutions. First, the effect of the main operating conditions in MCr, including feed temperature (40, 50, and 60 °C) and flowrate (0.81, 1, and 1.3 L/min) was investigated on the crystallization of Li2CO3 in a binary solution. Next, the effect of main inorganic salts in the brine solutions (i.e., NaCl, KCl, and LiCl) and the mixture of them on the MCr performance and crystallization of Li2CO3 were investigated. In-line microscope, light microscope, scanning electron microscope, and X-ray diffraction test were used to observe the crystallization and characterize the obtained crystals. The obtained results revealed that feed temperature is the main parameter to dominate the nucleation and crystal formation and growth. Thus, the higher the feed temperature, the faster the crystal formation and the larger the crystals. The average crystal size increased from 9.59 to 30.51 μm, when the feed temperature increased from 40 to 60 °C, respectively. However, smaller crystals were observed with adding NaCl and KCl to the solution. Moreover, none of the operating parameters nor the salts additives did affect the crystals shape and the obtained Li2CO3 crystals possess needle-like shape.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117109
JournalDesalination
Volume571
ISSN0011-9164
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Inorganic salts
  • Ionic strength
  • Lithium carbonate (LiCO)
  • Lithium recovery
  • Membrane crystallization (MCr)
  • Solubility

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