I D
× COMMENTARYIN THE NEWSNEWSFRONTSCHEMENTATOR + Show More BUSINESS NEWSTECHNICAL & PRACTICALFEATURE REPORTFACTS AT YOUR FINGERTIPSTECHNOLOGY PROFILEENGINEERING PRACTICEENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEREQUIPMENT & SERVICESFOCUS
Focus on Valves
Safe combustible-dust-explosion isolation Isolation is essential to protect adjoining system…
NEW PRODUCTS + Show More

Comment

This process may produce lithium from borate process waste

By Gerald Parkinson |

Rio Tinto (London, U.K.; www.riotinto.com) will shortly start up a pilot plant to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate from 90 years’ accumulated plant waste at its U.S. Borax operation in Boron, Calif. The waste is clay from the production of borates, in which borax ore is crushed and mixed with hot water to dissolve the borates, then the undissolved solids are screened out.

The waste contains about 2,000 ppm of lithium, says Richard Cohen, managing director of borates and lithium. Rio Tinto recovers the lithium by roasting and leaching. Cohen declines to give further details, but a conventional method is to use dilute sulfuric acid to leach lithium from ore. Rio Tinto says the process has been proved on a small scale and will be optimized in a pilot plant that will produce 10-m.t./yr of lithium-carbonate equivalent. The process is expected to have an economic advantage, since the metal has already been mined.

Related Content

Chemical Engineering publishes FREE eletters that bring our original content to our readers in an easily accessible email format about once a week.
Subscribe Now
Improving chemical production processes with IIoT and AI technologies
New filtration technology for highly corrosive media
PTA production: Lowering OPEX without compromising on quality
Sure that zero means zero in your zero-liquid discharge (ZLD) process?
How separation processes profit from Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions

View More

Live chat by BoldChat