Matt Weikel, Inorganic Laboratory Manager, presented at a training hosted by Nevada Water Resources Association (NWRA) regarding WETLAB’s industry leading lithium brine testing methods. In this two part series, we will provide an overview of this presentation, and explore various methods of analysis.
Lithium Brine extraction and processing is gaining traction in Nevada. Lithium mining uses evaporation ponds, which produces a brine that lithium is then extracted from. With lithium brine gaining popularity, lithium brine testing has become an interesting and ever-changing topic.
WETLAB has always sought to develop products and practices that are in our clients’ best interest, which is why we have perfected the ideal method of lithium brine testing to meet various client needs. Lithium brine can be characterized on four different pieces of equipment, including:
- FAAS (Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy)
- GFAAS (Graphite Furnace AAS)
- ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry)
- ICP-OES (Inductively Coupled Plasma – Optical Emission Spectroscopy)
WETLAB continues to excel at ICP-OES characterization, which is the preferred method of analysis for lithium brines. Each of these methods has its own strengths and limitations, and is coupled with a digestion method to place the metals into solution. WETLAB commonly uses a two-acid digestion, HNO3 + HCl, which include EPA methods 200.2, 3010, and 3050. After the sample is digested, it is ready for analysis. WETLAB commonly recommends using ICP-OES analysis, as it works best for the characteristics of brine, and obtaining other data metrics from the sample.
When you choose WETLAB for your lithium brine testing and characterization needs, you get a lot of benefits. WETLAB prioritizes customer service and accurate analysis, and we’re always here to help you get what you want. We ensure precise analysis through a robust QA/QC program coupled with several measures of internal data and accuracy checks.
Part two of this series, WETLAB Lithium Brine Testing, we will explore the strengths and limitations associated with each of the above testing methods, and determine why using WETLAB for ICP-OES analysis is ideal.