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Issue 1, 2017
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Mining valuable minerals from seawater: a critical review

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Abstract

Seawater contains large quantities of valuable minerals, some of which are very scarce and expensive in their land-based form. However, only a few minerals, the ones in high concentrations, are currently mined from the sea. Due to recent problems associated with land-based mining industries as a result of depletion of high-grade ores, sustainable water and energy demand and environmental issues, seawater mining is becoming an attractive option. This paper presents a comprehensive and critical review of the current methods of extracting valuable minerals from seawater and seawater brines generated in desalination plants, and suggests ways to overcome some of the limitations and challenges associated with the extraction process. The extraction methods discussed are solar evaporation, electrodialysis (ED), membrane distillation crystallisation (MDC), and adsorption/desorption.

Graphical abstract: Mining valuable minerals from seawater: a critical review

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Sep 2016, accepted on 21 Nov 2016 and first published on 22 Nov 2016


Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C6EW00268D
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2017,3, 37-53
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Mining valuable minerals from seawater: a critical review

    P. Loganathan, G. Naidu and S. Vigneswaran, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2017, 3, 37
    DOI: 10.1039/C6EW00268D

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