American Chemical Society
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Extraction Mechanism of Lithium from the Alkali Solution with Diketonate-Based Ionic Liquid Extractants

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-09-07, 07:11 authored by Junfeng Wang, Shicheng Yang, Xiaofei Zhang, Yilin Wang, Daoguang Wang, Weichao Li, Muhammad Awais Ashraf, Ah-Hyung Alissa Park, Xingchun Li
Four diketonate-based functional ionic liquids (ILs) with trialkylmethylammonium ([A336]+) cation were synthesized, and the synergistic extraction systems containing IL and thetrialkylphosphineoxide (TRPO) were developed to separate Li+ from the solution generated during the Li2CO3 production by the reaction of LiCl and Na2CO3. Compared to their precursors 1,3-diketones, over the wide pH range of 1.26–10.17, ILs showed higher Li+ extractability from the solution with a high Na/Li mass ratio. Among the four ILs, the IL with 2-thenoyl-trifluoroacetonate (TTA) anion showed the best Li+ separation ability. Under the optimized conditions, [A336]­TTA was up to 83.26%, which was much higher than that of its precursor (71.50%). The results of slope analysis and characterizations indicated that the extracted Li+ species using the extraction systems with or without TRPO were Li2CO3·2­[A336]­TTA·TRPO and Li2CO3·4­[A336]­TTA, respectively. Finally, a three-stage extraction process was validated, and the recovery efficiency of Li+ from the solution provided by Qinghai CITIC Guoan Science and Technology Development Co., Ltd. (CITIC) was up to 97.16%, indicating that the extraction system of [A336]­TTA + TRPO was efficient for separating lithium from the alkaline aqueous solution.