Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) has produced an “exceptionally high-purity” refined lithium phosphate using lithium mica waste ore, with the refined material resulting in enhanced lithium-ion battery performance.
Together with ANSTO, Lithium Australia has developed an “elegant and simple means” of removing impurities from lithium phosphate, which has been generated using Lithium Australia’s proprietary SiLeach process.
The newly developed low cost and effective refining process has resulted in a high-purity product with consistent quality.
Late last year, in a world first, Lithium Australia successfully produced an unrefined lithium phosphate using the SiLeach process on waste ore. The lithium phosphate was then converted to a lithium-iron phosphate cathode material, which performed well when incorporated in VSPC lithium-ion coin cells during internal tests.
According to Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin, the lithium phosphate refining process is “cheap and effective” and enables the company to consistently produce high-purity quality materials.
“When compared with other lithium chemicals, high-purity lithium phosphate is a winner when it comes to producing lithium-iron phosphate batteries, providing two of the fundamental components for the generation of the cathode while simultaneously eliminating the requirement for lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide.”
“This is a real winner,” he added.
Lithium Australia and ANSTO developed the lithium phosphate refining process with refined material then used to manufacture cathode powder which was incorporated in lithium-iron phosphate coin cells.
The batteries underwent a standard testing regime and the results were compared with industry benchmarks as well as VSPC’s own advanced cathode powders.
“The results indicate the refined lithium phosphate is an ideal component for the manufacture of high-performance lithium-iron phosphate cathode powders,” the company stated.
Using its advanced technologies, Lithium Australia aspires to produce lithium-ion batteries from materials normally deemed as waste, as well as recycling spent batteries.
Earlier this month, Lithium Australia teamed up with Chinese battery producer DLG Battery Co Ltd to jointly supply and sell lithium-ion batteries, packs and modules throughout Australia.
The duo plans to overcome current supply difficulties in Australia to service the rapidly growing energy storage industries by providing lithium-iron phosphate and lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries to Australian consumers and manufacturers.
Shares in Lithium Australia lifted 4.76% to reach $0.088 by mid-morning trade.