Yorkshire research firm achieves ‘breakthrough’ in sustainable materials project

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Yorkshire research company Aqualithium has made a “major breakthrough” to find a new, sustainable lithium source that can be used in electric vehicle batteries.

With global lithium reserves expected to be depleted in less than 20 years, Aqualithium, based at the Nostell estate near Wakefield, in partnership with the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath, has successfully extracted lithium from seawater in a laboratory environment.

The University of Bath team is led by Professor Semali Perera, a leading expert in the field of adsorption and membrane filtration, whose “breakthrough” is the first time that lithium has been extracted from this way using a new sustainable and disruptive technology.

Terrestrial reserves of lithium are estimated at only 14 million tonnes, while oceanic reserves of the soft silvery white alkali metal are estimated at 230 billion tonnes.

The company continues to develop the patented Aqualithium Harvester, a solar-powered floating lithium extraction system, efficiently collecting lithium from the sea in a sustainable, eco-friendly and environmentally friendly way that produces no original waste. marine and uses no fossil fuels.

Aqualithium is now seeking a large government grant to allow it to continue its research and move towards the goal of finding a commercially viable and sustainable way to extract lithium from seawater using its innovative and environmentally friendly process. environment.

Aqualithium Founder Tom Black said, “This is an important milestone for Aqualithium in our quest for a new, sustainable source of lithium. The real value of a partnership between business and universities is the advantage it gives us in the commercialization of our process.

Professor Perera added: “The combination of adsorption and membrane technologies is very effective in recovering lithium, which is essential for battery technology, but stocks on land are limited. The main challenge we face is to collect it in large quantities, so we are very excited to work with Aqualithium.

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