School of Engineering
Lithium ions play a crucial role in the energy storage industry. Finding suitable lithium-ion-conductive membranes is one of the important issues of energy storage studies. Hence, a perovskite-based membrane, Lithium Lanthanum Titanate (LLTO), was innovatively implemented in the presence and absence of solvents to precisely understand the mechanism of lithium ion separation. The ion-selective membrane’s mechanism and the perovskite-based membrane’s efficiency were investigated using Molecular Dynamic (MD) simulation. The results specified that the change in the ambient condition, pH, and temperature led to a shift in LLTO pore sizes. Based on the results, pH plays an undeniable role in facilitating lithium ion transmission through the membrane. It is noticeable that the hydrogen bond interaction between the ions and membrane led to an expanding pore size, from (1.07 Å) to (1.18 – 1.20 Å), successfully enriching lithium from seawater. However, this value in the absence of the solvent would have been 1.1 Å at 50 °C. It was found that increasing the temperature slightly impacted lithium extraction. The charge analysis exhibited that the trapping energies applied by the membrane to the first three ions (Li +, K +, and Na+) were more than the ions’ hydration energies. Therefore, Li +, K +, and Na + were fully dehydrated, whereas Mg2 + was partially dehydrated and could not pass through the membrane. Evaluating the membrane window diameter, and the combined effect of the three key parameters (barrier energy, hydration energy, and binding energy) illustrates that the required energy to transport Li ions through the membrane is higher than that for other monovalent cations.
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