Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

Committee Director

Sandeep Kumar

Committee Member

Mujde Erten-Unal

Committee Member

James Lee

Committee Member

Tarek Abdel-Fattah


This study focused on the development of a magnesium doped ion-sieve composite to extract lithium from an aqueous solution using adsorption process. The extraction process will provide a sustainable alternative to the currently practiced solar evaporation/concentration method which is very slow (takes 24 months) and water intensive. Currently, most of the lithium in the world comes from the mining of lithium or from the evaporative extraction process from the brine. Additionally, the Salton Sea area geothermal brines are recognized as potentially important domestic sources of lithium. Lithium concentration in geothermal brines from the Salton Sea area is reported to be as high as 400 mg/L where the process of adsorption can be implemented to gain maximum removal percentage of lithium. In this study, a novel low-cost, simple, and low water use adsorption process was developed using a magnesium doped ion-sieve composite material for extracting lithium from aqueous solution. Composites with chemical formula H4Mn5-xMgxO12 where x= 0,0.1, 0.5 were used as an adsorbent and chose the best adsorbent for further studies. The synthesized Mg-doped H4Mn4.5Mg0.5O12 showed the removal percentage of 48% for the lithium in 4 hours. On the other hand, the undoped adsorbent took long time (about 24 hours) to attain equilibrium. The optimum dose that led to achieve the result was 25 mg in 25 ml of solution with 62 ppm lithium concentration. Additionally, the adsorption process at room temperature showed the optimum condition for achieving maximum lithium adsorption. Furthermore, a pH of 11 was found to be the most favorable condition for the adsorption process. The experimental desorption amount at equilibrium point was found to be 30 mg.g-1.


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