Lithium is one of the most important elements in various fields including energy storage, medicine manufacturing and the glass industry, and demands for lithium are constantly increasing these days. The lime soda evaporation process using brine lake water is the major extraction method for lithium, but this process is not only inefficient and time-consuming but also causes a few environmental problems. Electrochemical recovery processes of lithium ions have been proposed recently, but the better idea for the silver negative electrodes used in these systems is required to reduce its cost or increase long term stability. Here, we report an electrochemical lithium recovery method based on a λ-MnO2/activated carbon hybrid supercapacitor system. In this system, lithium ions and counter anions are effectively captured at each electrode with low energy consumption in a salt solution containing various cationic species or simulated Salar de Atacama brine lake water in Chile. Furthermore, we designed this system as a flow process for practical applications. By experimental analyses, we confirmed that this system has high selectivity and long-term stability, with its performance being retained even after repetitive captures and releases of lithium ions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant (code 13IFIP-B065893-01) from Industrial Facilities & Infrastructure Research Program funded by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korean government and also supported by Institute of Chemical Processes (ICP).
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
- Activated carbon
- Hybrid supercapacitor
- Lithium recovery