Compass Minerals has found a way to convert sustainable lithium brine to battery grade lithium hydroxide

Compass Minerals has announcement successful testing of its sustainable lithium brine resource to convert lithium carbonate and battery grade lithium hydroxide. The tests were carried out by a third party, Veolia Energy, which used a proven and commercially viable conversion process. The company said that at a concentration> 56.5% lithium hydroxide monohydrate, the conversion sample meets the battery quality specifications established for the U.S. electric vehicle and energy storage markets.

Compass Minerals said he believes it will help the United States nationally produce advanced battery materials and support the growing national fleet of electric vehicles. Compass Minerals plans to enter the market with a battery grade lithium hydroxide product by 2025. Kevin S. Crutchfield, President and CEO of Compass Minerals, said:

“When we first announced the identification of a 2.4 million tonne readily available lithium brine resource, we emphasized that we are evaluating several development avenues, potential partnerships and a selection of products for ensure optimal shareholder value. As this work continues, our progress to date puts us on track to enter the market with a battery grade lithium product by 2025.

“As we continue to assess potential technology partners and DLE business opportunities, we remain committed to ensuring responsible stewardship of this exciting and sustainable resource. We look forward to providing future updates as we take additional steps in the coming months. “

It sounds like an incredible achievement. However, I am a little curious as to how this is sustainable. Is the conversion process itself sustainable?

Lithium collection

In July, World of chemistry noted that lithium-ion batteries have their own sustainability challenges and could create a secondary environmental catastrophe unless the batteries can be made more sustainably. This is one of the reasons battery recycling is so important and critical. The article also pointed out something Elon Musk said often, which is that lithium is not uncommon. The US Geological Survey estimates that there is a total global resource of around 80 million tonnes and that number is increasing. However, the problem with lithium is the extraction.

SAMCO Technologies, which mainly focuses on water, wastewater and purification, explained in detail the two main types of lithium extraction. There is the conventional extraction of lithium brine which uses a lot of water and takes several months to years. And then there is the mining of hard rock or lithium spodumene. SAMCO also gave details of other lithium mining processes, including recycled brines from power plants, seawater, brine recovered from oil fields and recycled electronics.

If Compass Minerals has found a way to extract lithium from brine in a less water-intensive and sensitive way, and convert it into high-quality battery materials, that seems like an incredible achievement and I hope we can all learn more about the process in the future.

The foundation of our quality of life is the mining industry

Many people don’t realize how much we depend on the mining industry for our quality of life. I’m not just talking about myself and my little mineral collection. I’m talking about how the mining industry is the very foundation on which we live our lives.

For example, I wouldn’t write this without my computer, which has a battery. I wouldn’t be able to scroll through TikTok on my phone without the battery and other phone hardware technologies. The dietary supplement industries could not exist without an industry that extracts and extracts the necessary minerals in large volumes.

Iron, zinc, fluoride, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, and manganese are all types of dietary supplements but are also minerals. While these are naturally present in the foods we eat, think for a moment about where these extra minerals come from. The halite, what you know to be salt, is mined. (I don’t recommend licking your salt lamps.)

The health sector is very dependent on oil. Some drugs, such as aspirin, are made with petrochemicals.

What I mean is that we depend heavily on both the mining industry and the mineral world for our quality of life. The Coalitions for Mineral Education says it best:

“If you really take a moment to think about it, look around to observe the objects around you that are not made from plant resources. From the cement you step on to the screen you read, our world and our way of life depend on the products of modern mining practices.

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