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  • Ioneer Limited has used Veolia’s lithium processing technology to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide at its Rhyolite Ridge project.
  • The Veolia process produced boric acid and lithium carbonate
  • oneer is using this process to stimulate the ongoing cycle of commercial processes

Emerging lithium-born supplier Ioneer Limited has announced the successful production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide from its Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron project in Nevada.

Ioneer partnered with Veolia Water Technologies to complete extensive test work as part of the Rhyolite Ridge definitive feasibility study (DFS).

Veolia is the world’s largest supplier of evaporator systems and its test work produced boric acid, lithium carbonate and high-purity lithium hydroxide.

To confirm the lithium carbonate produced could be further processed into battery grade material, the lithium carbonate was processed to produce high-purity lithium hydroxide.

The test work was completed by using HPD evaporation and crystallisation technology. These technologies produce and recover valuable products and by-products, reclaim water resources and reduce volume. Approximately 150 gallons (567) litres of pregnant leach solution was used.

Lithium has been linked directly to high technology and clean energy. It has been described at the new oil as it is a key component for batteries in electric vehicles.

The demand for lithium is expected to grow 20 per cent per year as technological and regulatory changes are accelerating the transition from traditional batteries to electric vehicles.

Automotive demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected to have a 10-fold increase in gigawatt-hour terms by 2026, one gigawatt hour of lithium-ion battery requires 700 tonnes of lithium.

Veolia is also testing several different pathways to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate from Rhyolite Ridge lithium carbonate. Test works were done independently by Canadian laboratory Kemetco Research.

The plant will run a continuous cycle over three months to allow the company to further optimise the commercial process for the DFS design.

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