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Issue 1, 2017

Mining valuable minerals from seawater: a critical review

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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

Article information

30 Sep 2016
21 Nov 2016
First published
22 Nov 2016

This article is Open Access

Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2017,3, 37-53
Article type
Critical Review

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

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

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