Battery technology developer and tester Novonix has evaluated Lake’s 99.97% pure lithium carbonate in NMC622-based battery cells against other commercially available lithium.
Novonix found Lake’s material yielded “improved capacity retention” and “better electrochemical behaviour” in coin cells compared to the commercially available product from tier one producers.
Lake managing director Steve Promnitz said the positive preliminary results demonstrate the “high quality” of the company’s high purity lithium in batteries. He said he expects future results will reinforce these initial ones.
“This provides electric vehicle makers and battery makers confidence around Lake’s product quality, which is particularly important given the increasing demand for a high purity product,” he added.
Larger scale tests
Following the positive preliminary results, larger scale tests will now be undertaken to demonstrate repeatability, homogeneity, cell characterisation and validation in full lithium-ion wound pouch cells.
The work will be carried out at Novonix’s pilot facilities in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Lake expects the results will enable potential customers to make direct performance comparisons of its lithium carbonate against available products in familiar battery chemistries.
This testing process is expected to take “some months”.
Kachi lithium brine
Underpinning Lake’s lithium chemical production plans is its Kachi lithium brine project in Argentina.
A definitive feasibility study at the project kicked-off at the start of the year with results anticipated in the first quarter of next year.
Unlike other potential lithium brine miners, Lake has secured Lilac Solutions as a technology partner with the aim of becoming a clean, low-cost lithium producer.
Using Lilac’s proprietary direct extraction technology, Lake plans to return 99% of the brine back to its source after the lithium has been removed.
Lake noted Lilac’s technology does not require evaporation or mining and, as such, has a much smaller environmental footprint and uses much less water.
The technology also has the advantage of taking days, not months or years to recover lithium from the brine.