It has been quite a while since the electric vehicle battery industry was poised to take off. When electric vehicles come of age, demand for lithium is also expected to be high. Lithium, the lightest metal, will be the base for the battery industry.
It is being forecast that the demand for lithium will be high in the coming eight years, based on sales of batteries in electric vehicles. Simbol Materials with its newly opened factory near the Salton Sea in Imperial Valley, California, is looking at the industry with much enthusiasm. The company currently borrows discharge brine from geothermal plants to extract three critical energy elements — lithium, manganese and zinc. It is expected that the plant can cut down time and cost required for the extraction of lithium from salt water.
The company is expected to enhance production from 8,000 tons a year to 64,000 tons by the end of the decade. Normally, the metal is extracted from ore, but with brine evaporation it can be less expensive.
The company will extract mineral through a reverse osmosis filtration system, which will take 90 minutes to 2 hours to complete. But if conventional methods are preferred, it will take at least 18 months.
If the plan works out well, salt water can be considered as the best source for lithium extraction. Look forward to that scenario, folks.