Standard Lithium Ltd. has announced that it has successfully completed the conversion of its Arkansas-produced lithium chloride into 99.985% pure lithium carbonate using OEM technology.
The work was completed by Veolia Water Technologies at its facility in Plainfield, IL and demonstrates that the lithium chloride intermediate product produced by Standard Lithium’s industrial scale LiSTR Direct Lithium Extraction (“DLE”) plant in El Dorado can be converted into better-than battery quality lithium carbonate using established OEM carbonation technology.
As part of a continuous process of derisking the Arkansas Lithium Project, Standard Lithium opted to evaluate two different processes to convert the LiCl solution made by the Arkansas DLE plant into a battery-quality material.
The first was using the company’s own patent-pending SiFT technology, which the company has previously reported.
The second, noted here, was via conventional technology, widely used within the industry and performed by Veolia. Concentrated lithium chloride solution produced by Standard Lithium was sent to Veolia and was then converted to lithium carbonate using a conventional flowsheet.
This involves additional concentration; chemical softening/purification; initial conversion to solid lithium carbonate; redissolution to a bicarbonate solution and final crystallization, washing and drying of battery quality lithium carbonate. The material produced was of exceptionally high purity, compared to typical specifications for battery-grade lithium carbonate compiled from a variety of commercial sources and producers’ specifications.
The company has now successfully demonstrated two separate crystallization flowsheets that can take lithium chloride produced from the Smackover Formation brine and convert it into high purity battery-quality lithium carbonate.
As the company continues to move towards commercialization, successful demonstration of alternative technologies in key areas of the flowsheet allows it to reduce project execution risk and offers greater flexibility regarding the final flowsheet that will be deployed at commercial scale.
Standard Lithium continues to innovate and optimize its flowsheet. With a view to expanding product offerings from the Smackover resource, it has commenced work to assess the feasibility of directly converting LiCl produced by the LiSTR DLE plant in Arkansas into battery quality lithium hydroxide. This work is ongoing, and the company will provide results as they become available.
Dr. Andy Robinson, President and COO of Standard Lithium , said, “We’ve now demonstrated that we can convert to battery quality lithium carbonate using the company’s SiFT technology; that we can get to the same end-product using established technology developed and sold by global OEMs; and now we’re looking to add battery quality lithium hydroxide to the product offering. In the background, we continue to rapidly advance both project and corporate development work. We’re excited about reaching the various milestones ahead of us and, if we’re successful, taking this globally important project into commercialization.”