New process generates lithium from waste

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Lithium Australia (LIT) has successfully generated lithium phosphate from waste materials, creating a high-purity battery chemical suitable for the production of batteries.

The process, created together with ANSTO, removes impurities from the lithium phosphate resulting in an exceptionally high-purity refined product, which is suitable for the manufacture of lithium ion batteries (LIBs), and in particular, those with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry.

The lithium phosphate refining process was developed to ensure consistency of quality for the production of high performance LFP batteries. The performance of batteries made from the refined lithium phosphate product has been tested at LITs VSPC cathode powder pilot plant in Brisbane, Australia.

The refined lithium phosphate was used to manufacture cathode powder and subsequently LFP coin cells, which were then subjected to a standard testing regime and the results were compared with industry benchmarks and VSPC’s most advanced cathode powders.

The results indicate the refined lithium phosphate is an ideal component for the manufacture of high-performance LFP cathode powders.

LIT is confident that LFP products produced using lithium phosphate, refined with the processed developed by LIT/ANSTO will have significant advantages when compared with those produced using a more conventional lithium carbonate, or lithium hydroxide precursor.

Lithium Australia Managing Director, Adrian Griffin, said “The lithium phosphate refining process is cheap, effective and provides the means to produce high-purity materials with consistent quality.”

“When compared with other lithium chemicals, high-purity lithium phosphate is a winner when it comes to producing LFP batteries, providing two of the fundamental components for the generation of the cathode while simultaneously eliminating the requirement for lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide.”

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