Process West: Keeping the ‘white gold rush’ green
by By Albert Bedell, Solex Thermal Science
How indirect heat exchange technology is playing a role in helping producers increase efficiencies during lithium extraction.
In light of the rapidly expanding demand for batteries, many companies across the supply chain are scrambling to ramp up production.
Increasing production can be challenging at the best of times. Yet when companies are forced to juggle new process technologies, uncertain regulatory frameworks and pushback from environmental groups, the challenges can become unmanageable.
Companies involved in resource extraction, in particular, cannot rest on the “green” image provided by their end products. Rather, they must take action to minimize the environmental impact of their operations while also de-risking the scale-up process.
In fact, demand for battery minerals (lithium, nickel, cobalt, etc.) is rapidly increasing as more governments, corporations and individuals take action toward reducing carbon emissions. It is estimated that to achieve net zero carbon by 2050 will require a tenfold increase in global lithium production.