Lithium is an essential element in almost all modern electronic devices, primarily in rechargeable batteries. However, recovering Lithium from devices is extremely difficult and only 1% is recycled world wide. This paper developed organic extraction reagents that were able to separate Lithium cations from other mixed alkali metal salts, providing a possible route to recycle lithium waste. By tuning the structure of the extraction reagent they could also tune which of the alkali metals they could extract. Francium is in the same elemental family as lithium and is expected to behave like other alkali metals. As a result you could design a similar structure that purifies Francium or leaves it in the mixture as desired.
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