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The result was achieved in benchtop test work as part of the design and engineering of Anson’s planned in-field pilot plant.
Ion exchange system used
A sample was produced using a dedicated and advanced ion exchange (IX) system, which operated using accelerated parameters to produce eluate for the lithium carbonate sample project with one pass of IX.
Lilac Solutions processed more than 3,500 litres of 180 mgLi/L paradox basin brine to produce about 20 litres of high-purity lithium chloride concentrate at about 18,000 mg/L of lithium.
The eluate produced by Lilac Solutions was purified by Southwest Technologies using conventional chemical treatments carbonated with soda ash to produce lithium carbonate from the purified lithium chloride eluate with no bi-carbonation step for purification.
The lithium carbonate was then washed with deionised water, dried and micronised using a jet mill to produce the sample according to a battery quality particle sized distribution (PSD) provided by Anson’s prospective customer.
A Malvern mastersizer 2000 laser diffraction particle size analyser was used to analyse the PSD at SGS laboratories in Lakefield, Ontario.
This particle size distribution satisfies the strict, confidential specification provided by Anson’s prospective customer.
It is a particle size distribution that can be readily used for manufacturing batteries and will satisfy most other specifications of cathode material manufacturers.
The largest particles in the sample are 28.2 microns and 50% of the mass of the sample is constituted by particles smaller than 5.3 microns.
About 4,000 litres of Anson paradox basin raw brine
This learning stage of the design and engineering phase is being incorporated into the flowsheet and final designs for the off-site production of a 20-kilogram sample to begin product qualification with prospective customers.
It is also intended for the in-field pilot plant, which is expected to produce larger lithium carbonate samples.
The in-field pilot will utilise industrial-scale, continuous processing equipment which will unlock Anson’s ability to achieve very high lithium recoveries from brine to produce battery-quality lithium products.