NYSE-listed Albemarle has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DoE) as a partner for two lithium research projects over three years through a Battery Manufacturing Lab Call.
Albemarle will work in conjunction with two DoE labs on the company's approved projects.
The first project, in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, is ‘advanced brine processing to enable US lithium independence’. This research enables the development of a novel technology which provides a new production route eliminating steps in the current state-of-the-art process by going directly from lithium chloride to lithium hydroxide.
"Successful execution of the project will allow for more efficient utilisation of the lithium brine resource in the Clayton Valley area of Nevada and a new pathway to a critical lithium material. The technology could also help make US geothermal and oilfield brines more economical, including our brine reserves in Magnolia, Arkansas,” explains Albemarle VP and chief technology officer lithium Dr Glen Merfeld.
The second project, which will be done in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is ‘scaling up of high-performance single crystalline ni-rich cathode materials with advanced lithium salts’. This project will accelerate the commercialisation of high-energy cathodes for extended battery life in the electric vehicle application.
“Through the second project, we will learn how tailored lithium salts can further improve cathode performance, leading to more energy dense and longer life lithium-ion batteries,” adds Merfeld.
Albemarle, headquartered in Charlotte, is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts.