INTERVIEW ON THE PRICE OF BUSINESS SHOW, MEDIA PARTNER OF THIS SITE.
Recently Kevin Price, Host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business Show, interviewed Jack Lifton.
“Lithium is the ‘driving’ force behind electric vehicles, but the industry is unable to keep pace with demand,” says Jack Lifton, Advisor – Physical & Chemical Engineer, One World Lithium can speak to the capability of One World Lithium’s technology vertically integrate the production of battery-grade lithium carbonate directly from brines in a single reactor. One World Lithium (OWL) is developing an advanced direct lithium extraction (DLE) process for the extraction and separation of lithium from natural brines, directly generating lithium carbonate.
How is DLE defined? The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) states: “DLE technologies can be broadly grouped into three main categories: absorption using porous materials that enable lithium bonding, ion exchange, and solvent extraction. Scaling up any of these techniques to full production capability remains a challenging task. For example, developing a solid material that bonds with just lithium is a huge challenge in geothermal brine that contains many minerals and metals. Successful DLE implementation will depend on expanding innovation and creating new technologies.”
In March 2022, OWL announced the signing a licensing agreement with the US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory division for a patent developed by the NETL for selectively recovering lithium from solutions of mixed metallic ions.
The DOE patent is an advanced direct lithium extraction (DLE) process for the extraction of lithium from natural brines, rapidly generating a pure lithium carbonate.
The method uses unique carbon dioxide injection mixing techniques to quantitatively precipitate lithium carbonate from brines. This process requires no solvent, electrodes, membranes, or sorbents, but only uses carbon dioxide which can be sourced from industrial waste or exhaust gas streams or, even, ambient air. It significantly reduces capital and operation costs, process time, energy requirements, and, paradoxically, overall carbon dioxide emissions.
The process is fully deployable and operational at the brine source, eliminating the need to evaporate the brines and/or transportation of brine concentrates to a chemical processing facility to form and purify lithium carbonate. Deployment of this technology will reduce dependence on foreign lithium sources.
The stakes are high for DLE to be successful. The US Energy Department reports that at least 70% of U.S. lithium deposits are held in brine reserves. DLE could produce lithium in areas where open-pit mines face strong opposition. If a successful DLE technology is created, miners will increase global lithium production with a footprint significantly smaller than evaporation ponds or open-pit mines.
In February 2022, the Biden administration announced plans to invest $2.9 billion to strengthen the battery supply chain and the production of advanced batteries. Direct lithium extraction is a new technology with the promise to unlock vast quantities found in natural brines in the United States.
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW IN ITS ENTIRETY HERE:
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