ISSN 1070-4272, Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2016, Vol. 89, No. 10, pp. 1642−1646. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2016.
Original Russian Text © T.S. Volkova, V.V. Rudskikh, K.A. Dzhevello,
2016, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, 2016, Vol. 89, No. 10, pp. 1322−1327.
AND ION EXCHANGE PROCESSES
Lithium and its compounds are widely used today in
various branches of industry: in production of chemical
current sources, in ﬂ aw detection, in metallurgy, in nu-
clear power engineering, etc. Lithium relatively widely
occurs in the nature; more than 150 lithium-containing
minerals are known. The main sources of lithium com-
pounds are spodumene (more than 50% of world min-
ing), lepidolite (more than 20%), petalite (more than
10%), amblygonite, and zinnwaldite [1, 2].
Technical lithium concentrates yielded by hydromet-
allurgical processing of lithium raw materials contain a
large amount of concomitant chemical impurities. The
most difﬁ cultly removable impurities are those of alkali
metals (sodium and potassium), because their chemical
properties are similar to those of lithium. One of pos-
sible solutions of this problem is sorption treatment.
Synthetic ion-exchange resins ﬁ nd the widest use
among ion exchangers . These are solid water-insolu-
ble acids or bases reversibly reacting with solution ions.
The distribution coefﬁ cient is the most widely used
parameter characterizing the sorption ability of ion ex-
changers. This characteristic allows evaluation of the
sorbent applicability to solutions of speciﬁ c practical
In this work, we studied the inﬂ uence exerted by pH
of solution on the distribution coefﬁ cients of lithium
and impurity elements (sodium, potassium, magnesium,
calcium, and iron) in sorption onto cation-exchange
Experiments were performed with single-component
aqueous solutions prepared by dissolving accurately
weighed portions of salts of the corresponding elements
(mainly nitrates) in distilled water. A solution of lithium
was prepared by dissolving an accurately
weighed portion of lithium carbonate Li
14.22 M aqueous nitric acid solution. After complete
dissolution of lithium carbonate, the solution was
transferred into a volumetric ﬂ ask and brought to the
mark with distilled water.
If necessary, pH of the solution was adjusted by
adding a 2 M aqueous solution of nitric acid or a 25 wt %
aqueous solution of hydroxide of the corresponding
element. When preparation of the aqueous hydroxide
solution was impossible (e.g., for calcium and
magnesium), the solution acidity was decreased using
Inﬂ uence of pH on Distribution Coefﬁ cients
of Lithium and Impurity Elements in Sorption
T. S. Volkova
*, V. V. Rudskikh
, and K. A. Dzhevello
Ozersk Institute of Technology, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, National Research Nuclear University,
pr. Pobedy 48, Ozersk, Chelyabinsk oblast, 456783 Russia
Mayak Production Association, pr. Lenina 31, Ozersk, Chelyabinsk oblast, 456796 Russia
Received September 7, 2016
Abstract—The possibility of purifying lithium-containing solutions to remove chemical impurities by sorption
in the batch mode was examined. Sulfonic (KU 2-8, Purolite C100, Resinex KW-8), carboxylic (SG-1, Puro-
lite C104FL, Resinex KW-H), and phosphoric acid (Purolite S957) cation-exchange resins were used as sorbents.
The distribution coefﬁ cients of lithium and impurity elements (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron)
at different pH values were determined experimentally. The lithium/impurity separation factors were calculated.