Confronting two nanofiltration membranes for lithium-calcium selective separation in natural brines

Maxime Pontie*, Tchikaya Goma Bilongo, Erik Roesink, Joris de Grooth, Christian Dinaux, Ahmed Hannachi, Francheska Charlot, Fatimazahra Oubaid, Sanaa Mrimi, Mehri Shabani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This work reports the main results of an experimental investigation aimed to improve the purity of lithium salts extracted from natural brines using two different nanofiltration (NF) membranes. The idea is to use NF membrane separation to further increase Li to Ca concentrations’ ratios. A synthetic brine, miming the reextraction water of a solvent extraction operation from Chilean Atacama Salar–inspired brines, was treated in a pilot unit. Two different membranes were investigated and compared for the best performances. The filtration results showed that a layer-by-layer (LbL)-modified hollow-fiber membranes, denoted dNF40 with end-of-Life NF90 flat-sheet membranes, referred to as EoL-NF90, operated at transmembrane pressures of 2 bar and 20 bar, respectively, show a 10 times lower energy consumption for dNF40. Also, both tested NF membranes were capable of selectively enriched permeates in Li versus Ca with a better performances observed for dNF40.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1495-1505
Number of pages11
JournalEmergent Materials
Early online date17 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Natural brines
  • Lithium recovery
  • Li to Ca ratio
  • Hybrid solvent extraction-nanofiltration
  • Planar NF90
  • Hollow-fiber dNF40
  • n/a OA procedure

Cite this