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- Lithium Australia has filed patent applications for the battery recycling process developed by its 90%-owned subsidiary
- Lithium Australia is dedicated to creating a circular battery economy which would support the battery industry with an ethical supply of energy metals.
- Lithium-ion batteries not only contain critical materials but can also have significant environmental impact when discarded in landfills.
- The Company seeks to vertically integrate lithium extraction, processing and recycling.
In a significant effort to take its intellectual property strength up a notch, Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) has filed two International Patent Applications with the Australia Patent Office under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
The applications relate to the recycling process of Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd for selectively separating metal values from recycled lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) and recovery of electrode materials.
Notably, Envirostream is a 90%-owned subsidiary of Lithium Australia. The recent development is a major step forward in Lithium Australia’s dedicated efforts to creating a circular battery economy, which would ensure an ethical supply of energy metals to meet the battery industry’s demand. As part of the plan, the Company is focussed on reprocessing spent LiBs to create new ones, enhancing both sustainability and resource security.
In early August 2021, Lithium Australia also filed a provisional PCT application with IP Australia concerning the recycling process of alkaline batteries, developed by Envirostream. Meanwhile, Lithium Australia’s another subsidiary VSPC Ltd recently secured a patent in Australia for its process to produce cobalt- and nickel-free battery cathode powders.
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Lithium Australia has announced the latest filing of PCT applications, which relate to Environstream’s recycling process for LiBs and its ongoing R&D activities to target value additions from the downstream processing of critical battery metals.
Process for recovering values from batteries
The PCT application (RF Number- PCT/AU2021/050886) is called ‘Process for recovering values from batteries’. This describes a size-selective process to recover the electrode material from LiBs including mixed metal dust, which includes both cathode and anode powers.
Process for recovering values from process liquors
With reference number PCT/AU2021/050887, the application ‘Process for recovering values from process liquors’ describes processes for selectively recovering mixed metal sulphates from a metal sulphate process liquor. The recovery process is preceded by leaching of mixed metal material recovered from LiBs.
Commenting on the latest development, Lithium Australia Managing Director Adrian Griffin, said: “The Lithium Australia group is acutely aware of its environmental footprint and that of the society within which we live and operate. We can no longer afford to discard any products to landfill, let alone those that have a high embedded energy footprint, contain critical materials, or – in the case of lithium-ion batteries – both.”
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Mr Griffin indicated that the Company has developed unique processes to handle battery waste and call for industry participants with similar focus to work with Lithium Australia, in its efforts to improve the sustainability of the current consumer-based society.
LIT shares traded at AU$0.145 on 13 August 2021.
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