Optimization of an innovative approach involving mechanical activation and acid digestion for the extraction of lithium from lepidolite

  • Nathália VieceliEmail author
  • Carlos A. Nogueira
  • Manuel F. C. Pereira
  • Fernando O. Durão
  • Carlos Guimarães
  • Fernanda Margarido


The recovery of lithium from hard rock minerals has received increased attention given the high demand for this element. Therefore, this study optimized an innovative process, which does not require a high-temperature calcination step, for lithium extraction from lepidolite. Mechanical activation and acid digestion were suggested as crucial process parameters, and experimental design and response-surface methodology were applied to model and optimize the proposed lithium extraction process. The promoting effect of amorphization and the formation of lithium sulfate hydrate on lithium extraction yield were assessed. Several factor combinations led to extraction yields that exceeded 90%, indicating that the proposed process is an effective approach for lithium recovery.


lepidolite lithium mechanical activation acid digestion optimization extraction 


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The author N. Vieceli acknowledges the doctorate grant ref. 9244/13-1 supplied by CAPES Foundation, Ministry of Education of Brazil. The authors are also very grateful to Felmica Minerais Industriais, S.A. for having kindly provided the lepidolite ore used in the tests.


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Copyright information

© University of Science and Technology Beijing and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathália Vieceli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlos A. Nogueira
    • 2
  • Manuel F. C. Pereira
    • 3
  • Fernando O. Durão
    • 3
  • Carlos Guimarães
    • 3
  • Fernanda Margarido
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research – IN+, Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversity of LisbonLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.LNEG – Laboratório Nacional de Energia e Geologia, I.P., Campus do LumiarLisboaPortugal
  3. 3.CERENA – Centro de Recursos Naturais e Ambiente, DECivil, Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversity of LisbonLisboaPortugal

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