Creating Battery-Quality Lithium Carbonate Crystals
Standard Lithium Ltd (TSXV: SLL) has completed the construction of its industrial-scale lithium carbonate crystallisation pilot plant in Vancouver and has now started the commissioning phase.
The crystallisation plant is designed to take the intermediate product made by the company’s LiSTR direct lithium extraction process (a high purity, concentrated lithium chloride solution) and convert it into a battery-quality (or better) lithium chemical as used by manufacturers in the lithium ion battery supply chain.
Dr Andy Robinson, President and COO of Standard Lithium, said the lithium carbonate crystallisation plant has been designed around the company’s proprietary ‘SiFT’ crystallisation technology, which was recently demonstrated to produce >99.9% purity battery-quality lithium carbonate. The crystallisation plant has been constructed by Saltworks Technologies Inc. at their facility in the Greater Vancouver area.
Initial commissioning of the SiFT plant has already begun, and so far, it has been hydraulically tested for integrity and all systems have been energised. Commissioning of the fully-automated control system is ongoing and is expected to be completed within 10 days. Following this, lithium chloride solutions previously produced by Standard Lithium will be used to continue the commissioning process and produce the first samples of lithium carbonate.
“Saltworks has done a fantastic job delivering this state-of-the-art lithium carbonate crystallisation plant, especially given the recent complications related to COVID-19,” Dr Robinson said.
“Our plan over the coming months has necessarily been adapted to fit the current trans-border situation between Canada and the USA.
“As we are able to freely transport large volumes of lithium chloride product from our operational demo plant in Arkansas up to Vancouver, once commissioning is completed we will initially test and run the SiFT plant using this feedstock, thus demonstrating the total lithium extraction and crystallisation flowsheet that we have developed.
“Once trans-border movement of staff and equipment is relaxed, hopefully in the not too distant future, then we will transport the modules and integrate this SiFT Crystallisation Plant in to our 24/7 operations in Arkansas.”