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Meeting 2023 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition
Symposium Energy Technologies and CO2 Management
Presentation Title Rethinking the Decomposition of Refractory Lithium Aluminosilicates: Opportunities for Energy-efficient Li Recovery from LCT Pegmatites
Author(s) Joanne Gamage McEvoy, Yves Thibault, Nail R Zagrtdenov, Dominique Duguay
On-Site Speaker (Planned) Joanne Gamage McEvoy
Abstract Scope Extracting lithium from Li-Cs-Ta (LCT) pegmatites is highly energy-intensive, involving an initial heat treatment at temperatures exceeding 1000°C (decrepitation) to induce a transition in the refractory aluminosilicate carrier minerals (α-spodumene, petalite) to a more reactive phase (β-spodumene), allowing breakdown of the crystalline structure and lithium release in a subsequent acid baking stage (~250-300°C). This study focuses on investigating alternative, energy-efficient approaches to lithium recovery from LCT pegmatites. Our results indicate that there exist optimal conditions that induce effective alkali exchange directly from the primary phases, attainable at temperatures <450°C in under 30 mins, creating opportunities for a viable single-stage mineral decomposition process without the need for a decrepitation step. The nature of the reactive process will be discussed, where exchanged alkali and other impurities are partitioned in stable solid phases, allowing improved purity of the pregnant leach solution, therefore minimizing downstream challenges associated to battery precursor production (Li2CO3, LiOH.H2O).
Proceedings Inclusion? Planned:
Keywords Extraction and Processing,


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