Most of the world’s lithium reserves are found in brines – natural salt water deposits. The conventional process for extracting lithium from brines requires large evaporation ponds that are environmentally damaging, slow to start up, and vulnerable to weather. This conventional process suffers from low lithium recovery, low product purity, and is ineffective for most new brine discoveries with lower grades of lithium. Lithium producers are seeking new extraction methods.
A new process
Lilac has developed and patented a new ion exchange technology to extract lithium from brines without the need for evaporation ponds. Our technology protects the environment while accelerating project development, increasing recovery, and yielding a high-purity product. Ion exchange has been successfully deployed in a wide variety of water treatment and metals processing applications, but has never been successfully applied to lithium, until now. Lilac’s new ion exchange beads and modules unlock this powerful technology for the lithium industry.
Lilac Solutions process
Proven and reliable
Lilac produces its ion exchange beads and delivers these beads to brine projects worldwide. The beads are loaded into tanks, brine is flowed through the tanks, and as the brine percolates through the beads, the beads absorb lithium out of the brine. Once the beads are saturated with lithium, hydrochloric acid is used to flush out the lithium, yielding lithium chloride. Lithium chloride is the “crude oil” of lithium – the standard intermediary in every lithium brine project today. The lithium chloride is then processed on-site with conventional process equipment to yield a finished product. The product – lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide – is sold to battery makers.
A full service approach
Lilac offers resource developers a full-service approach to lithium extraction. We design, build, and operate lithium extraction systems globally. For the balance of plant, we partner with top engineering firms to provide infrastructure, utilities, and other process equipment.