Warren Overton was recently taken on a tour of VSPC’s cutting-edge lithium production facility in Queensland. Always exploring new opportunities involving the management and handling of e-waste related resources, this company was the latest in a series of discussions as ANZRP continues to explore direction and strategic opportunities within the circular economy now and into the future.
Like many sustainability focussed organisations, Lithium Australia aspires to ‘close the loop’ on the energy-metal cycle. Its disruptive technologies are designed to furnish the lithium battery industry with ethical and sustainable supply solutions.
Its technology comprises of a uniquely patented SiLeach® and LieNA® lithium extraction processes, and a superior cathode material production process courtesy of its subsidiary VSPC helping deliver enhanced recycling techniques for battery materials.
VSPC creates and supplies high-purity, high-performance, nano-scale complex metal oxides and cathode materials supplying global energy source manufacturers with the highest grade resources available.
Globally, the demand for complex metal oxides is burgeoning in manufacturing sectors requiring this resource to be used:
- as components of solar photovoltaic cells and fuel-cell electrodes;
- in batteries, computer chips and electronic displays; and
- as a catalyst for auto emission control mechanisms.
In the long term, Lithium Australia aims to improve current Li-ion production processes, thereby ensuring better, safer, and more environmentally friendly energy storage, and has spent around $30 million on research that is helping to deliver some of the most advanced cathode materials in the world.
At its Brisbane plant, VSPC is producing a lithium-iron phosphate that is a precursor to the production of cathodes. It is created in the form of a chalk like fine powder which is critical as size of refined product is key to the downstream manufacture of high quality products.
Through its newly developed process VSPC is capable of producing the lithium-iron phosphate material at a much finer size than anyone else can, giving the battery far superior performance.
Developing its uniquely own IP as it forges into this exciting new frontier, VSPS is one of few global organisations that is capable of producing lithium-iron phosphate, and the only in Australia with this technology and capability. Integration along the supply chain will be key to the general success to the plant’s future. Lithium Australia’s strategy is to become integrated along the lithium value chain using mine waste as the original feedstock.
Moving forward, VSPC’s downstream integration will be vital in allowing the company to leverage the availability of Australia’s supply of lithium chemicals allowing the conversion of lithium and other metals into cathode powders.