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Monash lithium processing start-up to present at Cicada conference next month

Manufacturing News

ElectraLith has been selected from over 130 applicants to present at the Cicada x Tech23 conference in July, where it will discuss its process for lithium recovery.

ElectraLith was established last year, based on a process developed by Professor Huanting Wang, Director of the ARC Research Hub for Energy-efficient Separation at Monash University. Its seed investors include Rio Tinto and IP Group Australia.

“My research in nanostructure membranes is all about efficiency and ingenuity to make the most of this limited mineral resource,” said Wang in a statement on Tuesday.

“Current lithium extraction methods involve either roasting hard rock at high temperature and dissolving it with hot sulfuric acid, or evaporating brines in a solar pond, both of which use chemicals to precipitate lithium out. It is time consuming, disruptive, expensive and wasteful.”

The company’s technology is electricity-powered and uses a novel polymer-ceramic composite membrane. The statement from Monash says ElectraLith could extract lithium could from salt lakes, mine tailings and other brine solutions.

Monash’s Dr Zhouyou (Emily) Wang was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Early Career Industry Fellowship to progress the technology.

“Even though seawater is a brine, the concentration of Lithium is too low for cost effective extraction, but we are already thinking about designing the next generation of membranes to improve Lithium extraction, so maybe in the future we can extract Lithium from new sources,” said Wang.

The Cicada x Tech23 conference will be held on July 26 and feature 23 high-tech, early-stage ventures. It is hosted by incubator Cicada Innovations. More information is available here.

Picture: supplied

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