The 'Rock Candy' Approach for Direct Lithium Extraction

Qixiang Carnegie Feng, Zhiyong Jason Ren, Qiang Steven Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


To achieve Sustainable Development Goals, the use of electric vehicles (EV) is being increasingly encouraged and many states have come up with no-fuel vehicle deadlines in coming decades. However, lithium-ion, a critical mineral in EV batteries, is still facing a huge gap between production and consumption especially compared to the surge in need for EV batteries in the coming decades. Under the International Energy Agency's most ambitious climate scenario, lithium supply will have to grow fortyfold by 2040 from today's levels 1. Even today there's already a capacity gap of about 10000 tons of lithium carbonate equivalent. Lithium is an important strategic resource but currently, the US only has a limited capacity for it. The only active lithium mine in the US is the Silverpeak in Nevada, which only contributes less than 1% of global lithium production, becoming a major barrier and national security issue. The current approach to lithium extraction mostly relies on sunlight and geothermal evaporation of seawater or brine, but these methods are generally energy inefficient and ineffective in separating lithium from other ions in the brine. The issue here really encouraged me to start this project about the 'rock candy approach' for lithium extraction. My method uses the difference in solubility and mobility of different ions to separate lithium from other ions and the goal is to find the most efficient fabric structure to carry on this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication13th IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference, ISEC 2023
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9798350300017
StatePublished - 2023
Event13th IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference, ISEC 2023 - Laurel, United States
Duration: Mar 11 2023 → …

Publication series

Name13th IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference, ISEC 2023


Conference13th IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference, ISEC 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Period3/11/23 → …

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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