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Extracting Lithium From Geothermal Brine To Develop a Domestic Source of Critical Energy Resource


Manwon Lender
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If you had a jar of marbles of many different colors but wanted only the green ones, how could you efficiently pick them out? What if it wasn’t marbles but a jar of glitter, and there was sand, glue, and mud mixed in? That begins to describe the complexity of the brine pumped out from beneath California’s Salton Sea as part of geothermal energy production. If you had a jar of marbles of many different colors but wanted only the green ones, how could you efficiently pick them out? What if it wasn’t marbles but a jar of glitter, and there was sand, glue, and mud mixed in? That begins to describe the complexity of the brine pumped out from beneath California’s Salton Sea as part of geothermal energy production

https://scitechdaily.com/extracting-lithium-from-geothermal-brine-to-develop-a-domestic-source-of-critical-energy-resource/

 

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Isn't the usual method to run the stuff through a bath that has a chemical that bonds to lithium, then they use another chemical to precipitate the actual metal.

They do it at the top of the Andies, I think they could figure it out in California. 

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2 hours ago, DieChecker said:

Isn't the usual method to run the stuff through a bath that has a chemical that bonds to lithium, then they use another chemical to precipitate the actual metal.

They do it at the top of the Andies, I think they could figure it out in California. 

Problem is those chemicals tend to be rather nasty in and of themselves and what they form when they react with stuff that isnt the target is usually just as if not more nasty.

By the end you end up with what you are after and a ton of extremely harsh chemicals that need disposed of, which if done correctly in an environmentally safe way isnt cheap or easy.  Other countries, normally poor countries can do it cause they will just dump the non-desired by products anywhere they feel like.

Definitely wouldnt be the most energy efficient but in theory a centrifuge should be able to seperate out the various stuff in the brine decently well.  Wouldnt necessarily be quick or necessarily easy to build the centrifuges capable of doing it but it should be capable.  Even if they dont completely seperate out the lithium they should at minimum be able to remove a large percentage of the undesired stuff.

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