Lithium in brine – Reliable and inexpensive determination by potentiometric titration

Lithium is a soft metal which is used for many applications, such as production of high-temperature lubricants or heat-resistant glass. Furthermore, lithium is used in large quantities in for battery production. It is obtained from brines and high-grade lithium ores. Depending on the lithium concentration, extraction may or may not be economically viable.


This Application Note demonstrates a method to determine the lithium concentration in brines by potentiometric titration. Lithium and fluoride precipitate in ethanol as insoluble lithium fluoride. Using ammonium fluoride as the titrant and a fluoride ion-selective electrode (ISE), determination via potentiometric titration is possible. This method is more reliable, faster, and less expensive than the determination of lithium in brine by other more sophisticated techniques such as atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS).