Lithium Metal Recovery from Permian Basin Produced Water

Matao Casarez, “Lithium Metal Recovery from Permian Basin Produced Water”
Mentor: Charles Paradis, Geosciences
Poster #34

This study analyzed 40 produced water sample parameters from oil and gas wells located in the Permian basin region of West Texas. The study analyzed the water samples for TDS, conductivity and critical minerals with the main goal being to analyze how much Lithium metal and other critical minerals can be recovered from each of the 40 samples. The various methods used to accomplish analyzing the parameters of the samples were using lab scales to weigh the mass of the samples before and after each test. Methods used for the TDS and alkalinity readings were taken via probes that were inserted into each sample from the bottle with DI water to prevent readings taken that are out of the probes preprogrammed scale chart. For alkalinity there was a small sample taken from each bottle and mixed with DI water to be used in Hach alkalinity tests for precise readings. The most significant findings were the readings collected when the samples were assessed for TDS with the results testing on average to be over three to five times saltier than saltwater being 35,000 ms/cm. What was accomplished in the samples readings were the results of lithium metal recovery in the produced water as they can be recovered from the water. The importance of my work is to find the parameters of the samples and how much lithium it contains to be recovered. What the study concludes is there are traces of lithium in the stable parameter water samples that can resolve larger issues of being reused in production or farming irrigation. The importance is the possible renewability of the lithium to be reused as the mineral is not renewable.