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Zeolite LiX

LiX preparation

  1. Samples of NaX (Si/Al = 1.25) were obtained from commercial vendors (Aldrich, molecular sieve 13X). In this case the sodium form was exchanged six times with 1 M NH4Cl solution at T = 360−365 K for 24 h to obtain the NH4 form.
  2. The Li-exchanged zeolite LiX-1.25 was obtained by exchanging the NH4 form three times with 1 M LiCl for 24 h and three times with 6 M LiCl at 365 K for 24 h. The absence of NH4 was confirmed by IR using the KBr pellet technique. Full ion exchange was confirmed later by chemical analysis.

Obtaining Li

  • The amount of lithium (or lithium equivalent) content in a battery or battery pack can be worked out as 0.3 x amp hour capacity. So a 2Ah battery has 0.6 grams of lithium (2 x 0.3) and a typical laptop battery pack with eight 2Ah cells has 4.8 grams (8 units x (0.3 x 2Ah))
  • 18650 battery –> 2.5 Ah approx –> 0.6 g of Li
  • Amount of Li needed: approx. 42 g / kg_LiX (WS calculation)

Do not try this at home. While testing, many batteries took fire and some exploded.

Amount of LiX needed

It can be estimated using the RPSA performance data of Figures 9 and 10 that an adsorber [3.175 cm in diameter and 55cmlong]containing∼230gofLiXzeolitewillbeadequateto produce ∼5 LPM of ∼90% O2-enriched product gas. The compressed feed air (∼3 atm) flow rate needed is ∼67 LPM. The outside diameter ofthe gastank is assumed to be∼15.2 cm which will be sufficient to hold ∼15.8 L of usable O2 product (withdrawn between 3 and 1 atm pressures).

hence: 1/4 kg LiX per patient station –> 15-20 batteries 18650 (a laptop battery may contain 6-8 batteries)

Open issues:

  • How to obtain Li from batteries? 18650 batteries contain Li salts (not pure Li).


This is work in progress. Please contribute in the comments. All valuable inputs will help us define the best solution.


    • It is unsafe to use old Li-Ion batteries . In general, if you open Li-Ion batteries, make sure to operate outside and with protective gear to protect from explosions.

  1. I am trying to make an Oxygen concentrator. So far. i have only been able to get aquarium grade zeolite. Zeolite for oxygen concentrators are prohibitively expensive in India and they do not sell in small quantities.
    Is it possible to make “LiX preparation” mentioned in the article at home?
    If yes, please help me with the process.

    • In our experiments, we have not found a meaningful amount of “good” zeolite in two different aquarium zeolites.

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