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The leaching of α-spodumene

Albertani, Bryce Martin (2018) The leaching of α-spodumene. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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An investigation into the direct leaching of α-spodumene has being warranted due to increasing societal interest in lithium-ion battery technology. The direct leaching of α-spodumene utilising a caustic autoclave process was investigated, in aspirations of leaching significant quantities of lithium from the silicate matrix of α-spodumene. The influence of reagent dosage, temperature, reaction time and particle size on the extraction efficiency of lithium were investigated. From the investigations conducted it became evident that the leaching efficiency of α-spodumene was consistently greater than 40.00% under the optimal conditions. The optimal conditions evaluated throughout the investigation were found to occur at 573.15 kelvin, 14 molar NaOH, a 6 hour residence time and a P80 of 325 μm.

The lithium recovered to solution is present as a hydroxide species, of which is in significant demand within the lithium-ion battery production industry. Sodium silicate or ‘water glass’ was also found to be present within the leach products adding a potential valuable by-product to the process investigated.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Nikoloski, Aleksandar and Gilligan, Rorie
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