Pilot-scale demonstration of an electrochemical system for lithium recovery from the desalination concentrate

Hwajoo Joo, Seoni Kim, Seongsoo Kim, Minjune Choi, Seung Hyun Kim, Jeyong Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The rapidly growing interest in seawater desalination has drawn a large pool of attention among the industry for proper management of its by-product; desalination concentrate. Among the various attempts to utilize desalination concentrate, the selective extraction of lithium has received considerable attention as the industrial demand for lithium becomes higher than ever. In this study, using lithium-ion battery electrode materials that enable highly selective electrochemical capture and release of lithium, we report a pilot-scale system designed for the treatment of actual desalination concentrate produced by a desalination plant. This system, equipped with λ-MnO2 and Ag electrodes, enabled lithium recovery from 6 tons of desalination concentrate per day (0.25 ton per hour), leading the production of a solution containing 62 mM of Li+ with purity and enrichment factor of 88% and 1800, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-295
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science: Water Research and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant (code 17IFIPB065893-05) from the Industrial Facilities & Infrastructure Research Program funded by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korean government and the Technology Innovation Program (10082572, Development of Low Energy Desalination Water Treatment Engineering Package System for Industrial Recycle Water Production) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


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