With unceasing technological developments, high demand for lithium (Li) has driven the need for its recovery from various sources such as mineral ores, brines, and seawater. Recent studies have shown great interests to recover Li from other sources such as Li-rich solid and liquid wastes. Thus, an efficient way of extracting lithium from these sources was developed for fast and high selective lithium recovery. Herein, lithium ion sieves (LIS) H2
electrospun polysulfone (PSf) nanofiber (NF) membrane was employed for continuous Li+
mining from various samples, such as coal ash leachate and simulated wastewater. The LIS/PSf NF membrane was evaluated using different characterization techniques such as XRD, SEM-EDS, BET, capillary flow porometry, and mechanical testing. The performance of the membrane was thoroughly investigated through convective single- and multiple-pass permeation of the leachate via LIS/PSF NF adsorbent membrane filtration followed by Li+
desorption and enrichment using mild acid solution. Adsorption isotherms, material recyclability and effects of competing ions were also examined.
This work suggests that the developed process is simple to operate and offers promising option for continuous Li+ recovery from Li-enriched secondary resources. Overall, the results showed the ability of the prepared H2TiO3/PSf adsorbent nanofiber membrane to selectively, rapidly, and continuously mine Li in any type of Li-enriched sources and upgrade its potential for future industrial-scale application. This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (No. 2017R1A2B2002109 and No. 2017R1D1A1B03028102) and the Ministry of Education (No. 22A20130012051(BK21Plus)).