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Company to launch a lithium extraction pilot plant in Nevada

Company to launch a lithium extraction pilot plant in Nevada

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Clayton Valley

Schlumberger New Energy plans to develop a lithium extraction pilot plant through its new venture, NeoLith Energy, in Clayton Valley.

HOUSTON — Schlumberger New Energy this month announced the development of a lithium extraction pilot plant in Nevada through its new venture, NeoLith Energy.

The deployment of the pilot plant will be in Clayton Valley in Esmeralda County. NeoLith Energy intends to begin operations before the end of 2021, pending permitting approvals.

The NeoLith Energy approach uses a differentiated direct lithium extraction process to produce high-purity, battery-grade lithium material while reducing the production time.

NeoLith Energy’s pilot plant is a step toward a full-scale, commercial lithium production facility. The pilot plant results will be used to optimize the design of a full-scale production plant.

The production plant will utilize a method for subsurface brine extraction and lithium production that requires a smaller footprint and reduces water consumption by over 85% compared to current methods for lithium extraction from brine, the company stated in a press release.

“Nevada lithium resources present an excellent opportunity to demonstrate a leap in production efficiency with a more sustainable approach,” said Ashok Belani, Schlumberger New Energy executive vice president. “Schlumberger’s expertise in the subsurface domain, development of process technology, and global deployment of technology at scale with various partners all play an important role in the innovation and efficiency of our DLE process. We are accelerating the deployment of our pilot plant in response to the high market demand for battery-grade lithium material.”

The pilot plant’s deployment is part of the Pure Energy Minerals agreement with Schlumberger New Energy for the development of its Nevada lithium brine property, using advanced technology to process the brine and extract high-purity lithium, maximizing the lithium resource recovery. Commissioning of the pilot plant will begin following receipt of all necessary permits.

Schlumberger New Energy has invested more than $15 million in the DLE process, and expects the development and operation of the pilot plant in Nevada to require a similar amount of investment.

Fossil fuel cars waste hundreds of times more raw materials than EVs, according to a new study by Transport & Environment. The study found that electric cars use up to just 30kg of raw materials with recycling, in comparison to 17,000 liters of petrol. Over its lifetime, an average fossil-fuel car burns the equivalent of a stack of oil barrels, 25 storeys high. If you take into account the recycling of battery materials, only around 30kg of metals would be lost, Lucien Mathieu, Transport And E-Mobility Analyst At T&E. The study suggests that the benefits of switching from fossil fuels to electricity will grow over time. The study says that Europe will produce enough batteries for its own EV market by 2021 and no longer rely on crude oil imports. By 2035, over a fifth of the lithium and 65% of the cobalt needed to make a new battery could come from recycling.

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