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High-Capacity Sorbents for Direct Lithium Extraction


Invention Reference Number

Stock image of roads on a ridge in a mining operation

Demand for lithium is expected to increase drastically due to the use of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in portable electronics and electric vehicles. An efficient method to extract lithium is necessary to help meet this demand. This technology is a sorbent that can selectively extract lithium from brines, minerals, and recycled batteries.


Current technologies do not efficiently extract lithium from used batteries, and result in waste. This technology uses the abundant and inexpensive mineral as a sorbent, allowing uptake of lithium out of brines at least five times as much as current technology. This sorbent extracts lithium chloride from the geothermal brines, produced water and battery leachate solution to form a stable layered double phase. Then in delithiation, treatment with hot water causes relinquishment of lithium ions and regenerates the sorbent. During relithiation, the treated sorbent is reused to extract more lithium. This works in a wider pH range of 5 to 11 compared to other direct lithium extraction methods, and results in recycling of lithium so used batteries can be reused in a circular, closed process.


  • Low cost, high uptake
  • Can use over wide range of pH
  • Can be used for purifying lithium stream 
  • Works at nearly room temperature 
  • Allows domestic supply

Applications and Industries

  • Any rechargeable battery industry
  • Lithium mining
  • Oil field and geothermal brines


To learn more about this technology, email or call 865-574-1051.