Lithium Equals > 99.9% Battery Quality Lithium Carbonate



Standard Lithium Ltd. is pleased to report that it has produced its first >99.9% purity (also known as ‘three-nines’) battery quality lithium carbonate using the Company’s proprietary ‘SiFT’ crystallisation technology.  This optimisation work was performed at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and was partially funded by a grant of $300,000 awarded to the Company and UBC by Innovate BC (note to the reader: this lithium carbonate crystallisation optimisation work is separate from the ongoing commissioning of the Company’s LiSTR Direct Lithium Extraction demonstration plant in south Arkansas).

The SiFT technology was re-run on solids that had been previously produced (see news release dated 09th Jan 2019), and involved a single additional re-crystallisation step.  The resulting lithium carbonate crystals were analysed at UBC using low-detection-limit ion-chromatography techniques (similar to those used in the pharmaceutical industry to determine impurities at low levels).  The lithium carbonate samples were analysed for the main suite of cation contaminants that are typically found in commercially sold products, and the results are provided in the table below.

Contaminant Lithium Carbonate
Initial Re-crystallised
Sodium 2,270 ppm 60 ppm
Calcium 145 ppm <36 ppm
Magnesium <22 ppm <22 ppm
Potassium <21 ppm <21 ppm
Total Cation
<2,458 ppm
(<0.246 wt.%)
<139 ppm
(<0.014 wt.%)

As seen in the table, the total cation contaminants in the lithium carbonate were reduced from less than 2,458 ppm (or <0.246 wt.%) to less than 139 ppm (or <0.014 wt.%), resulting in a purity of >99.9 %.  Actual purity may be greater than this figure, but additional analyses will be required to definitively determine the total impurity profile (i.e. to quantify chloride, sulphate and boron concentrations at expected very low levels).  Additional work is being completed by UBC, using the grant money, to optimise how the ion-chromatography system can be integrated into the overall SiFT process to provide real-time analytical data during crystallisation.

Dr. Andy Robinson, President and COO of Standard Lithium commented, “this ongoing refinement of our SiFT crystallisation technology is emblematic of Standard Lithium’s drive to bring lithium chemical processing into the 21st Century.  We continue to improve the technology, in terms of performance, robustness and scalability.  We are also finalising our efforts in terms of IP protection and the delivery of a full-scale crystallisation pilot plant to our South Arkansas Project site.  The combination of the Company’s SiFT and LiSTR technologies will provide a new platform for the production of battery quality lithium compounds for current and next generation lithium-ion batteries.”

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