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Minerals 2017, 7(4), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/min7040057

Migration Behavior of Lithium during Brine Evaporation and KCl Production Plants in Qarhan Salt Lake

1
Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering and Institute of Applied Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
2
School of Chemical Engineering, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, China
3
Shanghai Collaborative Innovation Center for Biomanufacturing Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
4
Qinghai Salt Lake Industry Group Co. Ltd., Golmud 816000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Javier Sánchez-España
Received: 8 January 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 2 April 2017 / Published: 11 April 2017
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Abstract

Lithium-brine is an important potential source of lithium. Much research and investigation has been carried out aimed at lithium recovery from brine. Although the distribution and occurrence status of lithium in brine have important implications for lithium recovery, few reports had correlated to this issue. In this article, a study was carried out to explore the lithium migration behavior during brine evaporation and KCl production process at Qarhan Salt Lake. The occurrence status of lithium both in fresh mined brine and residual brine after evaporation were also speculated by means of lithium concentration evaluation and theoretical calculation based on the Pitzer electrolyte solution theory. Results showed that, for Qarhan brine mined from the Bieletan region, most lithium was enriched in the residual brine during the brine evaporation process. The concentration of lithium in the residual brine could be more than 400 mg/L. More than 99.93% lithium ions in residual brine exist in free ions state and lithium does not precipitate from brine with a density of 1.3649 g/mL. The results also revealed that lithium concentration in wastewater discharged from KCl plants can reach a level of 243.8 mg/L. The investigation results provide a theoretical basis for comprehensive development and utilization of lithium resources in Qarhan Salt Lake. View Full-Text
Keywords: lithium migration; occurrence status; Qarhan Salt Lake lithium migration; occurrence status; Qarhan Salt Lake
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Song, W.; Gang, H.; Ma, Y.; Yang, S.; Mu, B. Migration Behavior of Lithium during Brine Evaporation and KCl Production Plants in Qarhan Salt Lake. Minerals 2017, 7, 57.

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