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Mineral Brine Extraction

Extract Lithium from Your Water

As the world seeks to decarbonize, securing cleaner energy storage solutions are paramount to mitigating emissions. Wastewater and produced water often contain large quantities of battery-grade minerals and metals, and disposal without recovery could lead to the disposal of valuable income.

 

We have worked with proven metal extraction processes and there is a clear economic and ESG incentive to consider mineral brine recovery in your project development plan. As technology arbiters, we balance the economic and technical trade-offs between the extraction approach and equipment selection to achieve the best technical and environmental performance at the lowest capital cost.

Technical Evaluation & Recovery Feasibility

Traditional battery mineral refining processes, such as acid-leaching, or carbonate-leach processes, are energy-intensive, logistically challenging, and require substantial chemical use. Continental brines are slow and contingent on consistently dry and hot environmental conditions.

Typically, produced waters in North America are stable and relatively pH benign. As such, suspended minerals cost less in energy and chemicals to process. Furthermore, produced waters can also produce desalinated water for beneficial reuse.

To assess feasibility, we first establish your concentration and extraction requirements with our chemical modelling and assessment services. We then help design the ideal concentration and extraction approach and prepare your regulatory pathway.

  • Water chemistry evaluations
  • Aqueous chemical modelling
  • Inlet flow rate development
  • Treatment train design
  • Business case development
  • Regulatory application & permitting
  • ESG reporting

Concentration and Recovery System Design

Extraction technology doesn’t only cover lithium, and we can also assist with selenium, copper, vanadium, nickel, and manganese recovery. During the evaluation, we will consider current brine extraction technologies such as solvent, membrane, and ionic sieves processes; and pair them with concentration technologies to help achieve market quality metal products.

  • Fluid diluent (e.g. Kerosene)
  • Extractants, (e.g. Crown ethers & organophosphorus agents)
  • Co-extraction agent (e.g. Ferric chloride, fluorine-containing anions and metal bis(triflyl)imides
  • Removal of competing divalent cations
  • Pressure, electrical or thermal gradients
  • Nanofiltration
  • Ion Imprinted membrane for selective absorption
  • Electrochemical
  • Membrane Distillation Crystallization (MDC)
  • Reverse Osmosis
  • PH dependent ion exchange process
  • Optimized brine pH conditions for maximum capacity and process rates
  • Regenerative – exposure to the source solution, high affinity for Li Ions
  • Precursor materials manufactured with ion of choice
  • Feed brines introduces to stripped ionic sieves, replaces H+ ion
  • Lithium salt production

Extraction Challenges & Risks

From a primary production standpoint, the risk and cost of water withdrawal from wells at scale, refining, and re-injection are mitigated through existing infrastructure and known solutions to technical challenges.

While there is risk in resource ownership, and water usage in primary production scenarios, lithium extraction from existing sources and infrastructure reduces water sourcing costs and improves acceptability within the regulatory landscape.

Chat with our sustainable infrastructure advisors:
Yves Matson
Yves Matson
Yves Matson

Director, Strategic Development

Jeff C
Jeff C
Jeff Coombes, MSc.

Manager, Strategic Development

Have questions?

Talk to a sustainability specialist today.

Project casestudies for
Mineral Brine Extraction

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