Recovery of Lithium from Brine with MnO2 Nanowire Ion Sieve Composite
Lithium is anticipated to be a key, strategic material in the clean technology economy. The majority of lithium reserves are contained in continental brines and sea water (>60%). Currently the most economical approach to recover lithium from such resources is through selective adsorption. Spinel type lithium manganese oxide and lithium titanium oxide have demonstrated to be excellent candidate materials (after de-lithiation). However, due to the small size of the powders, they have limited industrial application and require immobilization. In this work, we examine the application of novel manganese oxide nanowire composites for the extraction of lithium from dilute solutions. Manganese oxide nanowires were synthesized and simultaneously immobilized on diatomaceous earth via hydrothermal method. Lithium manganese oxide were then formed by solid-state reaction, de-lithiated and tested for lithium ion adsorption.