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Environmental Engineering Research 2025;30(1): 240253 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2024.253
CO2 microbubbling system for lithium carbonate precipitation
Hongsik Yoon1  , SeongBeom Jeon1, Taijin Min1, Seonghwan Kim1, Joonwoo Park2, Areum Kim3, Sungil Lim4, and Kyungha Ryu5
1Department of Resources Recirculation Research, Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials, Daejeon 34103, Republic of Korea
2Research Center, ER Co., LTD., Gimhae-si 50852, Gyeongsangnam-do, Republic of Korea
3Department of Nano Device & Displays, Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials, Daejeon 34103, Republic of Korea
4Department of Urban Environment Research, Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials, Daejeon 34103, Republic of Korea
5Department of Reliability Assessment, Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials, Daejeon 34103, Republic of Korea
Corresponding Author: Hongsik Yoon ,Tel: +82 42-868-7891, Fax: +82-42-868-7264, Email: yoonhs@kimm.re.kr
Received: April 23, 2024;  Accepted: June 5, 2024.
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ABSTRACT
Lithium carbonate (Li2CO3) is becoming increasingly valuable with the growth of the lithium-ion battery industry. For effective Li2CO3 production, the efficient supply of the carbonate source to the solution is crucial. Conventionally, sodium carbonate has been used as the carbonate source; however, the importance of CO2 utilization has been recently recognized. Conventional CO2-based carbonate sourcing exhibits limited efficiency. In this study, we propose a CO2 microbubbling system based on a rotating nozzle for Li2CO3 precipitation. The CO2 micro-bubbling system demonstrated a 1.6 to 1.9 times greater precipitation reaction rate than that of the conventional CO2 bubbling system. This rate enhancement could be attributed to the increased gas-liquid contact surface and greater residence time due to the generation of CO2 microbubbles. Additionally, the Li2CO3 reaction terminated when the pH of the solution dropped below 9.4–9.7 approximately. The re-dissolution of precipitated Li2CO3 occurred below this pH range as bicarbonate ions became the dominant species over carbonate ions. This study successfully demonstrated that CO2 microbubbling technology could be an excellent alternative for carbonate sourcing systems in the Li2CO3 production industry.
Keywords: CO2 | Lithium carbonate | Micro-bubbling | Precipitation | Rotating nozzle
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Carbon dioxide utilization in lithium carbonate precipitation: A short review  2024 June;29(3)
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