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Page added on February 28, 2008

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Solvent solution could delay ‘peak lithium’

The world’s reserves of lithium are rapidly dwindling. This scarcity, combined with rising demand for the batteries – which also power hybrid electric vehicles – has created the prospect of a ‘peak lithium’ crisis occurring in parallel with peak oil.

The main challenge in recycling lithium is separating it from the other substances in the spent batteries.
Australian researchers at the Parker Centre (CSIRO Minerals) in Perth have come up with a novel concept for an improved solvent extraction process to recover and purify cobalt and lithium from batteries.

The process starts with the leach solution from spent batteries and includes a new solvent extraction process, together with conventional solvent extraction, ion exchange, electrowinning and precipitation.


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