Sustainable and renewable energy technology, specifically battery technologies, are the next wave of pervasive technologies that are gaining mass market adoption now and into the future. Lithium, or "white petroleum,” is the new oil. It is arguably the single most important and valuable economic commodity for the 21st century. It is the main component of Li-Ion batteries, which power your smartphone, your laptop, and soon – an estimated 30 million new cars per year. Renewable energy, batteries, and their ingredients are creating a paradigm shift that has the potential to be as impactful as oil and gas.
We are working to optimize the lithium extraction process to achieve the lowest cost for advancement for high purity, battery grade, lithium materials. First we look to produce or find lithium-rich salt brines at high rates and concentrations. Second, is the ability to efficiently extract the lithium elements from the salt brines using a proprietary multi-level precipitation and desalination process. Third is to maximize our energy efficiency during the desalination process.
Desalination of salt brines is the most common process for lithium extraction. Currently using natural evaporation ponds, this process takes approximately two years, yielding lithium last. The actual desalinate process is much faster, however the
individual ions aren’t separated.
The first part of our technology uses solar thermal heating systems to dramatically lower the cost of energy by 40% during the desalination process.
The second part of our technology uses Metal Organic Frameworks, which utilizes ion selectivity, separating the lithium ions from the rest of the salt at the very beginning of the process rather than waiting two years. Using our MOFs takes about 1 week as opposed to the two year natural evaporation process, a 100X time efficiency improvement.