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The demand for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) is on the rise, mainly due to increased interest in portable devices, electric vehicles and grid-storage applications. The key component in such rechargeable batteries is lithium, which is trivial from the name itself as well, as lithium-ions shuttle back and forth during charging/discharging process. Consequently, lithium production demand has increased significantly as well over the past few decades. Lithium is usually extracted from minerals or water sources etc. Due to the limited availability of minerals and high-production cost. Therefore, most of the lithium is extracted from its water sources (such as salt lakes, seawater etc.). Likewise, most of the current industries extract lithium via solvent-evaporation method. This method takes a long time (12 – 18 months) to produce battery-grade lithium, which is inefficient, costly and highly weather dependent. Therefore, over the past few decades, new methods have been developed. Among them, using an electric force to capture and release lithium-ions selectively has gained interest of several investigators due to its simple operation, low cost and eco-friendly nature. Similarly, LiEP energy has recently used this technique to develop a cost-effective method to produce battery-grade lithium.
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University of Calgary
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