Lepidico announces new lithium carbonate process, files for patent protection


Lithium chemicals company Lepidico has announced the development of a new proprietary process for producing high purity, battery grade lithium carbonate from lithium hydroxide.

The process sequesters and consumes upstream generated carbon dioxide, thus reducing the processes’ carbon intensity.

The Perth company has applied for provisional patent protection from the Australian Patent office.

Lepidico plans a phase one plant which will now be capable of producing lithium hydroxide in year one, with lithium carbonate capability from the same chemical conversion facility in year two, allowing flexibility to respond to market demand and preferences.

The proposed phase one plant is targeting production of 5,000 tonnes of lithium chemicals from 2023.

Once expanded to produce lithium carbonate, the plant will be capturing and using approximately 25 per cent of CO2 process emissions.

Lepidico is studying two further steps to eliminate emissions:

  • Caustic scrubbing of surplus CO2 to produce industrial chemicals sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate
  • And compression of the majority of CO2 emitted for use as an industrial gas.

Managing director Joe Walsh said lithium chemical consumers had indicated a need for supplies of both lithium carbonate or hydroxide depending on different battery chemistries for different vehicle solutions.

Walsh said: “Continual improvement in environmental and social performance is embedded into the company’s strategic planning, with the ultimate objective to eliminate profess greenhouse gas emissions.”

Picture: Lepidico/Perth pilot plant

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