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ArticleName Recovery of lithium from oil and gas field brines
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2020.07.03
ArticleAuthor Karshigina Z. B., Abisheva Z. S., Bochevskaya E. G., Toilanbay G. A.

Satbayev University, Institute of Metallurgy and Ore Beneficiation, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan:

Z. B. Karshigina, Leading Researcher, Laboratory of Rare Scattered Elements, PhD
Z. S. Abisheva, Professor, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Academician at the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan
E. G. Bochevskaya, Head of the Rare Scattered Elements Laboratory, Candidate of Technical Sciences, Associate Professor
G. A. Toilanbay, Leading Engineer, Laboratory of Rare Scattered Elements

Corresponding author: Z. S. Abisheva, e-mail:


This paper describes the results of a study that looked at ways to extract lithium while processing oil and gas field brines. A limestone method was applied to remove magnesium from the brines. The authors tried to understand how the process temperature and the amount of lime used influence the purification efficiency. Optimum process parameters were identified: temperature 20–40 °С, the amount of lime ~100–110 %. The resultant brine had a pH level of 11–11.5 and the purification efficiency reached 99.80–99.96 %. A study was carried out to examine the chemisorption of lithium from formation brines on as-precipitated aluminium hydroxides in the following conditions: t = 50 °С; brine concentration – 120 g/dm3 AlCl3; Li/Al molar ratio = 7; рНequi 8.0–8.8; soak period – 1, 2, 3 and 4 h. As-precipitated aluminium hydroxides were produced by pouring the aluminium chloride solution to the brine where it reacted with hydrated tricalcium aluminate. The paper looked at the relationship between the soak period after the aluminium chloride solution pouring and the lithium recovery. The recovery of lithium from brine on the as-precipitated aluminium hydroxides with the soak period being 1 hour was 71 %. No gain to the lithium recovery can be achieved when the soak period exceeds 1 hour. On the contrary, this can affect the adsorption activity of the as-precipitated aluminium hydroxides. The lithium adsorption capacity was calculated, as well as the distribution and separation coefficients for lithium and associated components. With the soak period being 1 hour, the lithium adsorption capacity of the as-precipitated aluminium hydroxides was 5.9 mg/g. Aluminium hydroxide deposits were analyzed after chemisorption with the help of X-ray phase analysis. The following phases were found in them: bayerite, nordstrandite, gibbsite (hydrargillite) and phases resulting from the chemisorption of lithium on aluminium hydroxide – i.e. hydrated double aluminium hydroxide with lithium chloride LiCl·2Al(OH)3·xH2O.
This research study was funded under the Grant АР05132075 by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

keywords Brine, lithium, sorption, precipitation, sorbent, aluminium hydroxide, purification, recovery

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