Extracting Lithium from Seawater
Lithium is essential to the high-performance batteries necessary for sustainable power, but land-based reserves are insufficient. The ocean contains more than 10 times the amount of lithium, yet extracting it economically has proven difficult. KAUST is pioneering a direct lithium extraction technology that is energy-efficient, has a fast extraction rate, and a high recovery rate, making it economically feasible and a more sustainable method than conventional methods of lithium extraction from seawater. It can also be powered by renewables and coupled with desalination processes, further decreasing the process’ ecological footprint.
A strategic partnership has been established between KAUST and Ma’aden to scale-up the process to pilot-scale.