Due to the ubiquitous presence of lithium‐ion batteries in portable applications, and their implementation in the transportation and large‐scale energy sectors, the future cost and availability of lithium is currently under debate.
Electrochemical Methods for Lithium Recovery: A Comprehensive and Critical Review
Alberto Battistel, Maria Sofia Palagonia, Doriano Brogioli, Fabio La Mantia, Rafael Trócoli.
Adv. Mater.2020, 1905440.
Due to the ubiquitous presence of lithium‐ion batteries in portable applications, and their implementation in the transportation and large‐scale energy sectors, the future cost and availability of lithium is currently under debate. Lithium demand is expected to grow in the near future, up to 900 ktons per year in 2025. Lithium utilization would depend on a strong increase in production. However, the currently most extended lithium extraction method, the lime‐soda evaporation process, requires a period of time in the range of 1–2 years and depends on weather conditions.
The actual global production of lithium by this technology will soon be far exceeded by market demand. Alternative production methods have recently attracted great attention. Among them, electrochemical lithium recovery, based on electrochemical ion‐pumping technology, offers higher capacity production, it does not require the use of chemicals for the regeneration of the materials, reduces the consumption of water and the production of chemical wastes, and allows the production rate to be controlled, attending to the market demand. Here, this technology is analyzed with a special focus on the methodology, materials employed, and reactor designs.
The state‐of‐the‐art is reevaluated from a critical perspective and the viability of the different proposed methodologies analyzed.