Seawater desalination company of Qingdao Water Affairs Group signed a contract with Licy Technology to form the world’s first cooperation project for seawater desalination and lithium extraction from concentrated brine. It is expected to go into mass production in December this year. Lithium extraction from seawater has suddenly become a hot topic in the industry, but the high cost is the biggest problem.
The paper reported that lithium extraction from seawater is very promising, as there are about 230 billion tons of lithium resources stored in seawater, which is 16,000 times the total amount of lithium resources that can be mined globally. Lithium resources in water have a low density, only 0.17ppm (0.17mg per liter), which isAustraliaOne hundred thousandth of the average lithium concentration of spodumene, one ten thousandth of the lithium concentration of the Atacama Salt Lake in Chile.
Many people in the industry said that in terms of economic benefits, the Qingdao project is not the technological application of lithium extraction from seawater, but the use of waste after seawater desalination.
Starting in December 2021, Licy Technology has completed one year of seawater lithium extraction engineering verification for seawater concentrated brine of Qingdao Baifa seawater desalination plant affiliated with Qingdao Water Affairs Group. Seawater throughput reached 200,000 tons. The company developed a highly selective,QualcommA large amount of lithium extraction materials have been used, and an industrial device suitable for large-scale seawater lithium extraction has been finalized.
Licy Technology’s chairman Yuan Dong said that Licy Technology’s technology and technology not only set a precedent for large-scale seawater lithium extraction, opening a new source of lithium resources, but also for large-scale, efficient, lithium Also given lithium. and eco-friendly views such as salt lakes. A new technology roadmap was developed.
In terms of the specific lithium extraction process, Lisi independently developed a three-stage process of adsorption and desorption, concentration and removal of impurities, and crystallization of lithium precipitation. “It only takes 4 hours to make battery-grade lithium carbonate from lake water,” says the company’s website.
At present, the cost of extracting lithium carbonate from lepidolite in China is about 100,000 RMB/ton, the cost of extracting lithium from spodumene is about 60,000/ton, and the cost of extracting lithium from salt lake is about RMB 40,000-50,000/ton. The cost of extracting lithium from Chile’s Atacama Salt Lake, which has the highest concentration of lithium among the world’s salt lakes, is only US$3,000/tonne.
Qinghai Salt Lake Co., Ltd., the leading salt lake lithium extraction company in China, extracts lithium from old brine discharged from potash fertilizer production in Qinghai Chaerhan Salt Lake. The cost is less than RMB 40,000 per ton, and the concentration of the lithium ion company’s old brine is 200-250 milligrams per liter.
An industry insider analyzed that if the concentration of lithium resources in seawater is used to calculate the cost of desalination, then the cost of extracting lithium from the concentrated brine from seawater desalination is comparable to that from salt lakes in China. That would be 10 times the cost of extracting the lithium.
Earlier, the relevant person in charge of Suez, one of the world’s largest water environmental companies, pointed out that the current cost of seawater desalination in China is about 4-8 RMB per ton.
According to the analysis of an industry insider, according to the first phase of Baifa project of Qingdao Water Affairs Group, normally 3 tons of seawater can produce about 1 ton of fresh water. Seawater 1.5 million tons/day, 547.5 million tons/year. Based on the seawater lithium content of 0.17mg/L, which is equivalent to about 0.17g/ton, theoretical calculations result in 9.3 tons of lithium carbonate/year, and with the removal of impurities, the yield can reach only half .
At present, the greater importance of seawater desalination lithium extraction project is the reuse of waste resources after seawater desalination. At the stage of development and utilization of lithium resources, the economic value is relatively small, and the impact on the market will be limited.
China (tag to translate) Australia (T) Qualcomm