Eco-efficient extraction of lithium from hard rocks

About this project

Project description

This project is a pioneering initiative that aims to revolutionize the extraction and processing of lithium resources while prioritizing environmental sustainability. Lithium is a critical element used in various industries, particularly in the production of batteries for electric vehicles, renewable energy storage, and portable electronic devices. However, the traditional methods of lithium extraction from hard rocks have been associated with significant environmental impacts and high energy consumption.
The innovative research seeks to develop a novel approach to lithium beneficiation and extraction, focusing on eco-friendly and resource-efficient techniques. We will explore advanced methods for extracting lithium-bearing minerals from hard rocks with minimal ecological disturbance. The project will investigate new technologies and processing methods that can significantly reduce water usage, waste generation, and greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional practices.
Key objectives of the project include 1) sustainable extraction techniques, 2) eco-efficiency, 3) waste minimization, 4) life cycle assessment, and 5) economic viability. The first two objectives are central. Firstly, we will assess and optimize environmentally responsible methods for extracting lithium from hard rock deposits. Techniques such as green reagents and solvents for eco-efficient comminution, flotation, and hydrometallurgy will be explored to minimize the project’s ecological footprint. Secondly, we will concentrate on developing eco-efficient beneficiation and extraction processes for spodumene (a major aluminosilicate Li-bearing mineral), exploring its special crystal structure and ways to selectively deliver reagents to Li atoms on the mineral surface to increase separation selectivity and efficiency and thereby reduce the energy consumption associated with lithium extraction and processing.
By combining cutting-edge research with a strong commitment to sustainability, this project will establish a benchmark for responsible lithium extraction practices and has the potential to transform the industry, fostering a cleaner and more sustainable future for the global economy and environment.


One patent; Three papers in peer reviewed journals

Information for applicants

Essential capabilities

Chemical engineering or chemical science

Desireable capabilities


Expected qualifications (Course/Degrees etc.)


Additional information for applicants

note: i-students must have own scholarship to apply (CSIR, UCG-NET, etc)

Project supervisors

Principal supervisors

UQ Supervisor

Professor Anh Nguyen

School of Chemical Engineering
IITD Supervisor

Professor Suddhasatwa Basu

Department of Chemical Engineering