New Paper on Modeling Lithium Extraction from Geothermal Brine

Worldwide demand for lithium is increasing rapidly, thanks to its prominence in battery technologies and the growing electric vehicle market. Our new paper addresses a way to extract lithium selectively from brine, an attractive alternative to current mining sources. Through a productive collaboration with Prof. Jefferson W. Tester and Dr. Arna Pálsdóttir from Cornell University, Andrew Ruttinger’s research was accepted for publication in ChemSusChem: “A New Quantitative Metric for the Design of Supercritical CO2 Extractions of Lithium from Geothermal Brine.” 

Using experimental lithium extraction efficiencies and selectivities as validation, we  modeled lithium extraction from geothermal brine into supercritical carbon dioxide using binding free energy as a metric. With this metric, we predicted potential extractants that improve lithium extraction and selectivity over other ions. This approach provides a way to computationally triage the effectiveness of proposed designs of the crown ether extractant, limiting the expense of experimental investigation.  

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