Method for Extracting Lithium from Seawater Developed
Method for Extracting Lithium from Seawater Developed
  • Reporter Chae Seung-hyun
  • 승인 2019.09.27 10:36
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▲Prof. Lee Sang-joon (ME)
▲Prof. Lee Sang-joon (ME)


The POSTECH research team led by Professor Lee Sang-joon (ME) and Park Sung-ho (ME, Ph.D.) has succeeded in developing a way to extract lithium from seawater and have proposed a new plan to do so by using alginate beads and a metal-organic framework (MOF) of phosphate. The findings were published in the prestigious international journal Advanced Functional Materials.
The research team confirmed the phenomenon of a synthetic alginic acid bead using aluminum as an agent effectively absorbing lithium. In addition, once the amorphous phosphate MOF is of sufficient size inside the alginic acid bead, lithium is no longer absorbed, and lithium can be easily separated from water using strongly opposed properties. These phenomena allow the selective adsorption of molecules similar to ions dissolved in water to efficiently mine lithium.
The composite developed by the research team does not have to go through complicated processes, making it easier to manufacture it with simple facilities. It is expected that this will be highly industrialized in that lithium can be effectively and cheaply obtained from sea water or salt water with low material cost and cheap process.

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