Bondalti establishes partnership for lithium refining
Bondalti has signed a cooperation agreement with the Australian company Reed Advance Materials to build a lithium refinery in Estarreja and to market environmentally sustainable processing of this raw material in Europe.
Reed Advance Materials (RAM) is the holder of a new lithium purification process using the electrolysis method, called ELi®, which sets itself apart for its smaller carbon footprint. Bondalti, in turn, is a master of electrolysis technology, which provides high environmental sustainability standards to the chlor-alkali industry, of which the Portuguese company is the largest Iberian producer in terms of installed capacity.
The project, which is part of the Mobilising Agendas of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, provides for a shared investment of around four million euros for the construction and operation of a lithium refinery at Bondalti's chlor-alkali production unit in Estarreja.
The planned refinery will be the first commercial operation to use RAM's ELi® process, which is a method of purifying an aqueous lithium solution (lithium chloride) to produce lithium hydroxide in conventional chlor-alkali (electrolysis) cells.
The technology, which radically reduces the need for reagents, is an opportunity to take a step forward in environmental sustainability, operating and capital costs. The flexibility of the process enables domestic production of lithium chemical compounds from converted European feedstock and imported brine concentrates, ensuring an ethical and resilient local lithium supply chain for the electric car battery industry.