CMI researchers at Ames Laboratory conducted the activity for this highlight
Mechanochemical process to extract 85+% of lithium available in domestic hard-rock ore.
Initial testing of the MELLT process demonstrates extraction of 43% of lithium available in the chemical-grade domestic α-spodumene to yield Li2CO3 or other water-soluble Li-compounds.
Significance and Impact
- The high-temperature decrepitation step has been eliminated.
- Extraction of Li is performed by leaching with water or dilute acids.
- The process replaces traditional acid-roast and soda-ash methods, greatly reducing energy consumption and waste production.
Hub Target Addressed
Recovery and Conversion of Critical Minerals into High-Value End Products. Win industry adoption of a technology for the source-diversification of lithium.