Lithium recovery from brine: Recent developments and challenges

Abdullah Khalil, Shabin Mohammed, Raed Hashaikeh, Nidal Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Brine, in the form of seawater, salt lakes and geothermal water, holds massive amounts of valuable minerals. Among the variety of metallic and non-metallic elements that are recovered from brine at varying scales, Lithium (Li) has received immense interest in recent years due to its exponentially rising demand. Concentrated brine, which is the by-product of desalination, holds an even higher concentration of valuable minerals in comparison to other brine sources – thereby making it a ‘resource’ for Li extraction. Tremendous progress has been made in recent years in the development of novel technologies to concentrate brine faster and efficiently to cope up with the rising production needs for Li. This review aims to highlight the recent developments in this field starting from the significance of extracting Li from brine followed by discussing recent advancements in the various non-evaporative technologies proposed in the literature. Finally, major challenges associated with these technologies in terms of sustainability, cost and technology are also presented. It can be concluded that rather than stand-alone technologies, research must be focused on hybrid technologies for efficient utilization of desalination brines to improve the overall efficiency of the process. Moreover, comprehensive techno- and socio-economic analyses are essential to make these novel technologies commercially viable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115611
StatePublished - Apr 15 2022


  • Brine concentration
  • Lithium
  • Resource recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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