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Novel Membrane System for Lithium Recovery from Oilfield Brines

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0020011
Agency Tracking Number: 245559
Amount: $199,982.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 17b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001941
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-06-30
Small Business Information
8 John Walsh Boulevard Suite 321
Peekskill, NY 10566-5330
United States
DUNS: 829573208
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Zhong Tang
 (914) 368-7867
Business Contact
 Lin-Feng Li
Phone: (914) 290-6293
Research Institution
 University of Cincinnati
 Lesley Calvin
234 Goodman Street
Cincinnati, OH 45219-2364
United States

 (513) 556-6597
 Nonprofit College or University

Enriching lithium from oilfield brines while performing desalination of the produced water can provide a solution that recovers valuable lithium from highly mineralized brine while at the same time making possible to reuse and recycle the treated waste water. State-of-the-art technologies for recovering lithium from oilfield brine include gravity separation, gas flotation, and flocculation. These processes face challenges such as long operation cycles due to the very low mineral concentration, the complicated processes required due to the many competitive minerals in the brine, and high energy consumption. Therefore, innovative metal recovery technologies are needed to provide an economically viable process for lithium recovery from brines and waste streams in a manner that can be integrated with the desalination process. Bettergy proposes to develop a novel membrane technology with high flux, excellent fouling resistance, freedom from pore blockage, lower energy consumption, and excellent reliability for various source brines. The proposed membrane is essentially an inorganic material with uniform pore structure with high ionic selectivity. In combination with the unique design with minimum footprint requirements, position the membrane to meet the challenges of desalination of and lithium recovery from various brines.Lithium powers nearly everything we rely on today — from cars, laptops, to mobile phones — and it serves as the foundation for our future. As vehicles and electricity become cleaner, demand for this precious metal is estimated to triple by 2025 to 670,000 tons, representing a market value worth of $13 billion. An integration of lithium recovery from oilfield brines and desalination — a beneficiary reuse of the oilfield waste water through advanced technologies — can not only remedy the environmental risk, but also generate financial benefits through the recovery of valuable minerals that are contained in the brines. Bettergy’s technology will use existing oil and gas infrastructure to process the produced water and recover lithium in a cost- effective way, reduce lithium production time by 99% percent compared to conventional methods, and significantly reduce the environmental footprint of the energy industry.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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