Grafoid and Stria Lithium have announced the successful co-development of an innovative graphene-based filtration membrane to separate Magnesium and Calcium from salars. Developed in concert with Grafoid Inc. – a related company sharing common directors and an active partner in the 2GL Green Energy Technology Strategic Alliance – this filtration membrane functions as a precursor that promotes efficiencies within the conventional process of recovering Lithium from Salts.
The Companies explain that the key method of recovering commercial lithium has remained the same for over half a century: by evaporating brines collected from salars and salt lakes in evaporation ponds. However, this method is time consuming and can take a year or more - leading to large amounts of salt waste. In addition, Magnesium and Calcium are also present and form impurities that must be refined out in the process. With the demand for lithium outpacing the recovery rate of lithium from brine – faster and more efficient methods of recovery will be critical to supply the growing demand.
The co-developed graphene-based membrane has the potential to remove the Magnesium and Calcium at the onset of the process. This potential precursor makes the successive steps in the lithium extraction process much more efficient if impurities are absent. Early results suggest that the graphene-based membranes are highly effective as a first step in the extraction process and could be commercially implemented across the industry as a whole.