Standard Lithium Produces Battery Quality Lithium Carbonate

By Chemical Processing Staff

Jan 18, 2019

Standard Lithium Ltd. says it has produced its first quantity of battery quality (>99.56% purity) lithium carbonate. The battery quality lithium carbonate was produced at the company’s prototype lithium carbonate crystallization pilot plant operated by Saltworks Technologies Inc., at their facility in Richmond, B.C., Canada.  The crystallization pilot plant is based on Standard Lithium’s proprietary technology. The synthetic feed solution to the crystallization process was relatively ‘impure,’ similar to, but less pure than that produced by the company’s lithium extraction process (as per ongoing testing at the company’s mini-pilot plant in Ontario).

“We continue to be very pleased with the performance of our prototype pilot.  Whilst we had previously made ‘battery quality’ carbonate at bench scale using our proprietary technology, we consider it an important milestone that we can achieve the same very high levels of purity at the larger scale of our prototype pilot,” says Dr. Andy Robinson, president and COO of Standard Lithium.  “This has provided Standard Lithium, our technical team and our design partners with all the confidence needed to commence detailed design on the main crystallization pilot plant, and this work is now ongoing.” 

The prototype crystallization plant was operated as a two-stage crystallization process. The initial solids produced from the first run were re-solubilized and crystallized a second time. The solids produced from this second run were then hot-washed, filtered and dried. The resulting lithium carbonate crystals were a fine free-flowing powder and were >99.56% pure, according to the company. Despite the fact that the synthetic starting solution had more impurities than were anticipated in the solution the upstream process produced, lithium carbonate purity targets were met. Additional optimization is being performed and the technical team is also adjusting the composition of the input feed stream to optimize how the proprietary technologies work together.

Dr. Ron Molnar, professional metallurgical engineer (Ontario P.E.# 100111288), a qualified person as defined by NI 43-101, reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information that forms the basis for this news, according to the company. Dr. Molnar is independent of Standard Lithium.

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