Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) has shored up its intellectual property surrounding its battery recycling processes after filing two provisional Patent Cooperation Treaty applications for its subsidiary Envirostream Australia’s technology.
The first IP patent application relates to a process for recovering electrode materials and electrolytes from spent lithium-ion batteries.
This includes the methods for extracting electrode material comprising a cathode and/or anode, such as mixed metal dust as well as recovery of electrolyte.
A second application involves technology for selective separation of mixed metal sulphates.
This patent relates to the processes for selective recovery of these sulphates including mixed cobalt-nickel from a metal sulphate liquor.
Commenting on the applications, Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said the company’s 90% owned Envirostream was a “leader” in the battery recycling technology field.
Earlier this week, Lithium Australia raised $4.5 million in a share purchase plan.
Mr Griffin claims some of these proceeds will be allocated towards advancing the Envirostream technologies, with the first cathode extraction technology already rolled-out on a commercial scale at the Envirostream plant in Melbourne.
National battery recycling scheme
Envirostream is anticipating a “significant increase” in spent battery feedstock for its Melbourne recycling plant after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) authorised the Battery Stewardship Council to establish and operate a national stewardship scheme for spent batteries.
The scheme will subsidise battery collection and recycling for five years and covers all types of end-of-life batteries.
Funds will be generated from a levy on batteries at their point of sale. The levy will then subsidise their collection and recycling.
Mr Griffin said Envirostream was “well placed” to capitalise on the scheme as the country’s only mixed battery recycler.
“These technical advances are timely, in that they coincide with the introduction of a national battery stewardship scheme designed to divert batteries from landfill, thereby increasing the quantities of spent batteries available for recycling,” Mr Griffin added.