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article imageVancouver company set to revolutionize trapped lithium extraction

By Karen Graham     Mar 19, 2018 in Technology
Vancouver - The electric car revolution is driving a lithium-ion battery boom that could be worth $67 billion by 2022. And while traditional methods of lithium extraction are painfully slow, a Vancouver, B.C. company is set to revolutionize the process.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based International Battery Metals, Inc. (IBAT) s seeking to revolutionize the economics of Lithium extraction with a new, breakthrough technology called Selective Absorption.
Extracting metallurgic lithium from brines can take up to 24 months, and even then. only 40 percent of the metal is recovered. But with the new technique, IBAT can achieve lithium extraction rates of over 90 percent in just 24 hours.
IBAT has signed a definitive share exchange agreement with Selective Absorption Lithium (SAL), an innovative technology developer headed up by John L Burba, Ph.D. Burba is a veteran in lithium extraction-and is the incoming IBAT Chairman and CEO.
Burba has developed an advanced patent-pending technology that is based on first-generation selective absorption technology that Dr. Burba and Dr. Bill Bauman invented and sold to FMC Corporation in the early 1990’s. Their inventions became the basis for FMC’s lithium extraction plant at Salar Hombre Muerto in Argentina, which has operated continuously for 20 years.
The new extraction process
As the inventor of the process, John Burba puts it: "Our tech has such a high specificity for lithium that it can directly take the lithium out. Selective Absorption, the core of our process is the only commercially proven technology that can make this claim."
This means that instead of using a traditional technology that isolates lithium by trying to remove the many different complex ions, SAL tech removes the Lithium directly. Burba says the technology takes the lithium out on a continuous basis.
According to the press release, the process is explained this way: As the brine goes by, it collects lithium and lets the other impurities continue on and go straight back into the ground. The end-product is a diluted stream of lithium chloride and water that comes out as the brine goes by.
Burba says: "Once we have proved our patent pending fourth-generation technology, we will be able to expand production in a fraction of the time it will take for solar evaporation. This ability will be critical to being able to keep up with the expected demand curve for battery grade lithium products".
Lithium's wild ride is just beginning
Lithium is the key ingredient in rechargeable batteries in electronics, from mobile phones to electric cars. The metal is part of the cathode housing the electric charge. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, lithium production is expected to rise 38-fold by 2030 to 7,845 metric tons per year from 200 metric tons in 2016,
Lithium brine deposits are estimated to contain 66 percent of the world's 14 million metric tonnes of Lithium, worth $84 billion at current prices. And with IBAT's new technology, the company could end up being the fastest-producing lithium company in the world.
This would but IBAT right up there with the world's Big-Three lithium producers - Albemarle Corp, Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile) and FMC.
More about Lithium, International Battery Metals, Selective Absorption, Technology
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