4.5.2021Green Lithium secures grant to develop UK refinery
Green Lithium, a mineral processing company, has secured a £631,000 grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to support the development of what it says will be Europe’s first, large-scale lithium refinery, which will be located in the UK.
The funding comes through the APC’s Automotive Transformation Fund Feasibility Studies. The Automotive Transformation Fund was committed in 2019 to accelerate the development of a net-zero vehicle supply chain, funding UK companies involved in batteries, motors and drives, power electronics, fuel cells, or recycling.
The APC – which was founded in 2013 and collaborates with the UK government, the automotive industry and academia – says it has funded 150 low-carbon projects involving 375 partners. The technologies developed in these projects are projected to save over 260 million tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of removing the lifetime emissions from 10.2 million cars.
Green Lithium says there is no commercial lithium refining capability of scale in Europe at the moment. The company hopes to fill the gap and supply the UK and Europe with battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
Richard Taylor, founding director at Green Lithium, commented:
“We are committed to achieving a carbon net-zero operation, targeting 2030, and providing a secure, local, low-carbon source of refined battery-grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate with 100% traceability for the lithium-ion battery industry.”
The company projects that the UK and European electric vehicle industries will require 1.4 million tonnes of refined battery-grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate per year by 2030, meaning growth of more than 400% in supply is needed over the next ten years.
Green Lithium says it applies a sustainable and low-carbon refining process of hard-rock, unrefined lithium mineral spodumene concentrate. The company employs a “modern sulphate and acid-free refining process”, according to its website.
The company also claims to have secured a site, although gives no further details here. A timeline shows 24 more months to prepare for production: finding suppliers, operators and receiving all permits.