Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) is a way of extracting lithium by selectively removing the lithium compounds from geothermal waters. Cornish Lithium noted that this is the most environmentally responsible method of extracting lithium from solution.
International Battery Metals, which has a Generation 3 system that uses a selective absorbent and has a focus on renewable energy, shares some information about DLE on its website.
The company says that its selection absorption technology eliminates solar evaporation ponds, salt piles, and lime plants. It rejects critical impurities like calcium, sulfate, and other minerals while providing water control and recovery tech that recycles more than 98% of the plant’s process water.
Standard Lithium noted that its patent-pending direct lithium extraction process, known as LiSTR, could not only reduce the recovery time of extracting lithium from brine from a year to just several hours, but could be much more environmentally friendly with a much smaller footprint compared to the conventional evaporation pond processes.
The European Commission noted in a study that when the lithium-depleted brine from the LDE process is returned back to the natural environment, the impact on the hydric balance is significantly reduced.
Reference- Respective company websites, European Commission Study, Clean Technica