- Renascor Resources’ (RNU) hydrofluoric (HF) acid-free purification technology shows improved operational and environmental outcomes
- A recently completed trial tested sulfuric acid as a replacement to hydrochloric acid to produce high-quality purified spherical graphite
- Positively, the trial showed results of up to 99.99 per cent carbon which favourably compares to the anode industry standard of 99.95 per cent
- Renascor believes this suggests it can produce high purity graphite at globally competitive costs while also delivering positive environmental, social and governance outcomes
- Company shares were up 1.47 per cent to trade at 6.9 cents at 11:15 am AEST
Renascor Resources (RNU) has reported some operational and environmental improvements to its purification technology.
Over the past few years, the company has extensively tested Siviour graphite as part of its goal to develop a vertically integrated graphite mine and manufacturing operation to produce sustainable and ethically-sourced purified spherical graphite (PSG) from its Siviour Graphite Deposit in South Australia.
During this time, Renascor developed a caustic roasting technique to purify Siviour graphite concentrates to over 99.95 per cent carbon which is the minimum purity level when being incorporated natural flake graphite into lithium-ion battery anodes.
The technique avoids the use of hydrofluoric (HF) acid which is generally used in Chinese PSG operations despite being harmful to the environment.
Instead of using HF acid as the primary leaching agent, the company used hydrochloric acid and has since continued to develop and refine its HF-free purification technique.
A German battery minerals company recently completed trials which found that by replacing hydrochloric acid with sulfuric acid as the primary leaching agent, graphite from RNU’s Siviour operation consistently met or exceeded lithium-ion battery anode standards.
Specifically, the trials showed results of up to 99.99 per cent carbon which favourably compares to the anode industry standard of 99.95 per cent.
The motivation to replace hydrochloric acid with sulfuric acid to produce PSG comes from lower reagent costs and the fact sulfuric acid offers environmental benefits and will reduce chemical, energy and water consumption during the leaching and water treatment phases.
RNU Managing Director, David Christensen, was pleased with the ongoing improvements during the trials.
“These results suggest that, not only will we be able to produce ultra-high purity graphite at globally competitive costs, but we can achieve these results whilst also delivering positive ESG outcomes,” Mr Christensen said.
“We expect these results to further support our plans for our 100 per cent Australian-made Siviour PSG to become a world-leader in sustainable and ethically-sourced battery anode material for the lithium-ion battery market.”
Looking ahead, Renascor will conduct lock-cycle tests to support a detailed engineering design for the construction of its proposed PSG manufacturing facility in South Australia.
Company shares were up 1.47 per cent to trade at 6.9 cents at 11:15 am AEST.