Cost Reduction through Nanotechnology:
In order to extract lithium from brines, producers and production companies primarily utilize very large evaporation ponds, which are not environmentally friendly. Evaporation projects are facing increased scrutiny from regulators and permitting authorities because of their inefficient use of valuable water resources and other environmental claims by indigenous people proximate to the projects. In addition to strong legislative and regulatory headwinds, evaporation projects recover a fairly low percentage (40%-50%) of the Lithium available. Evaporation projects are also very expensive, the processes are susceptible to weather events, and take twelve to eighteen months to produce lithium, which means producers find it extremely difficult to be responsive to market signals.
As a result of the many inherent problems and regulatory headwinds with evaporation concentration/extraction systems, Lithium producers are seeking new concentration and extraction technologies and methods. Moselle’s utilization of nanoparticles to drive overall production cost reductions were developed specifically to address Lithium producer’s challenges. Moselle’s nanoparticle technology allows producers to demonstrate better stewardship with water resources, reduce facility footprint and thereby reduce capital expenditures and operating costs, reduce project startup costs and timeframes, reduce concentration and extraction periods, and increase relative Lithium recovery substantially.
Moselle’s unique and patent pending nanoparticle may be inserted into a continuous brine processing flow to efficiently yield concentrated high-purity Lithium from aqueous brines. Once concentrated and extracted the Lithium solutions can then be further processed and polished through existing conventional processes for final production of battery-grade Lithium products. Importantly, the nanoparticle is capable of being recharged and inserted back into the extraction processes. In addition, Moselle’s nanotechnology can be tailored to target other commercially value minerals, including rare earth elements down to the parts per billion concentration level.
Currently, the low cost Lithium producers are those in South America that utilize these large evaporation ponds as their collector and concentrators, which can take 18 to 24 months. In many cases, the production of Lithium is a by-product of other mineral extraction processes such as Potash. In any event, the producers that continue to use evaporation systems are facing significant environmental and regulatory headwinds related to environmental impacts they have on the water table and the follow-on impacts to indigenous groups.
Moselle’s interest in the extraction and recovery of lithium and other minerals is rooted in utilizing the key characteristics of ion exchange nanotechnology (i.e., increase in one thousand times surface areas) to extract and recover targeted minerals in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Including dirty and caustic geothermal brines with large volume flows.
Moselle believes that the most important component remaining to enhance the future and use of renewable energy is the advancement of the efficacy and lowering of costs of batteries for mobility and storage of electricity.
The advantages of using Moselle’s nanoparticles are both varied and significant.
• Concentration occurs in minutes not weeks, months or years
• Requires no additional chemicals
• Infinitely more efficient use of water resources
• 100% of the brine, less the targeted Lithium, can be returned to the Earth
• Capital cost reductions
• Highly selective extraction of Lithium
• Potentially lower purification and polishing cost
• Greater than 99% recovery of Lithium