ICL seeks a selective extraction method of lithium ions from the Dead Sea brines
ICL conducts mining operations at the Dead Sea - the lowest area of dry land in the world and among the most saline bodies of water on Earth. ICL Dead Sea Works (DSW) extracts several minerals from the Dead Sea, e.g. carnallite, potash, sodium chloride and magnesium chloride via concentration of Dead Sea brine in evaporation ponds. Bromine is produced from the concentrated brine by oxidation of the bromide, magnesium metal via electrolysis of anhydrous molten carnallite and magnesia by thermal decomposition of bischoffite. The Dead Sea also holds 9% of the known global land based reserves of lithium, but currently ICL is not mining Lithium from the Dead Sea due to the challenge of separating it selectively from the brine. In the water from the Dead Sea:, we find appr. 10 ppm of Li+ together together with a variety of salts, e.g. calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium chloride and potassium chloride in high concentrations (total > 25 % w/w). In the concentrated brine, after partial evaporation of the Dead Sea water, there are 20 ppm Li+ together with even higher concentrations (> 30% w/w) of other salts, e.g. calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium chloride and potassium chloride. The challenge for us is to selectively, and cost effectively, separate lithium ions, without adding new cations (apart from H+) into the brine, and to do this for an annual flow of over 100 million tons.
Proposals should clearly describe the technical concept and proof of concept results, if available. Information on ICL can be found at www.icl-group.com .