Brine contains cations such as K+, Ca2+, Na+, Mg2+, Li+, B3+, Rb2+, and Cs2+, as well as anions such as SO2−, Cl, HCO, CO2−, NO, Br, and I, which are valuable elements. Brines are widely distributed in salt lakes in the world's three enormous plateaus and beyond and are classified into three types: sulfate-, chloride-, and carbonate-type brines. Sulfate-type brine forms in salt lakes, whereas carbonate-type brine results from magmatic and hydrothermal activity. Chloride-type brine forms in deep basins due to the reduction and transformation of buried brine. Li in brine plays a critical role in clean energy transitions, and K in brine is important for potash production. Recently, new techniques for extracting Li from brine have been developed, and the large-scale, comprehensive development pattern of brines has formed the basis for a recycling economic model, which contributes to the efficient use of brines for potash and LiCO development and CO emission reduction. This article reviews the genesis of brines and highlights new utilization techniques, trends, and sustainable development.


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