E3 Lithium expands Calgary lab to incorporate lithium carbonate production

E3 Lithium’s field pilot plant site in Alberta.(Image courtesy of E3 Lithium.)

E3 Lithium (TSXV: ETL) is expanding its Calgary-based lab to incorporate equipment used for polishing and production of battery products such as lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide.

The development facility, located at the University of Calgary, has been operational since early 2021. Its focus has been on the development and verification of direct lithium extraction (DLE) processing technologies.

According to E3, DLE technologies can extract brine from Alberta’s oilfields efficiently and effectively to produce a lithium-rich concentrate stream. The process to convert the lithium-rich solution (a liquid) to lithium carbonate (a solid) utilizes conventional chemical reactions and industry standard processes

An internal team of experts has been beneficial in ensuring that E3 successfully completed the necessary steps towards technology development and selection, including verification testing of third-party DLE processes to support the design and decision making for the commercial facility.

The Canadian lithium developer also has its own internal analytics team that enables to company to efficiently and quickly produce consistent results from the various testing processes.

With the definition of the downstream processes utilizing chemical conversion to produce lithium carbonate and then lithium hydroxide, E3 said it will deploy the same validation, verification and optimization strategy to the conversion processes. This includes building scaled down process equipment that mimics the commercial systems to validate and optimize the production of lithium carbonate.

The team will further investigate the necessity to complete the equipment to continue from carbonate to lithium hydroxide. This work will support a feasibility engineering study and future commercial operations, the company added.

“Developing this capability in-house offers significant advantages in terms of result accuracy, cost-effectiveness and flexibility” E3 Lithium CEO Chris Doornbos said in a news release. “By building and operating scaled down equipment that closely mimics commercial operations, our highly skilled lab team will verify and optimize the process.”

“The results the lab will produce will support the design and operation of the company’s commercial plant and will bring efficiency to our future commercial operations by offering prompt and accurate data and analysis.”