Lithium recovery from salt lake brine by H2TiO3
The details of the ion exchange properties of layered H2TiO3, derived from the layered Li2TiO3 precursor upon treatment with HCl solution, with lithium ions in the salt lake brine (collected from Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia) are reported. The lithium adsorption rate is slow, requiring 1 d to attain equilibrium at room temperature. The adsorption of lithium ions by H2TiO3 follows the Langmuir model with an adsorptive capacity of 32.6 mg g−1 (4.7 mmol g−1) at pH 6.5 from the brine containing NaHCO3 (NaHCO3 added to control the pH). The total amount of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium adsorbed from the brine was <0.30 mmol g−1. The H2TiO3 was found capable of efficiently adsorbing lithium ions from the brine containing competitive cations such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium in extremely large excess. The results indicate that the selectivity order Li+ ≫ Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+ originates from a size effect. The H2TiO3 can be regenerated and reused for lithium exchange in the brine with an exchange capacity very similar to the original H2TiO3.