The pilot plant, which will make battery-grade lithium carbonate on a continuous basis, will provide high-purity solution feedstock to the intelligently automated crystallisation plant, which will incorporate machine learning to optimise the crystallisation conditions.
Standard Lithium has based its ideas for the selective crystallisation plant on the work of technical advisory committee member Professor Jason Hein, and it has already been demonstrated at bench scale.
"We've been very impressed with the quality and technical sophistication of their [Saltworks] team and the products that they design and manufacture," company COO and president Dr Andy Robinson said.
"Standard Lithium is taking a parallel and risk-managed approach at our pilot-scale facility with respect to our final crystallisation stage; our intention is to ‘future proof' our final production options."
In addition to testing the technology in-house, he said it will be sending its lithium solutions to OEMs, so that they may use traditional, proven technologies to demonstrate lithium carbonate and hydroxide production. It will also test whether modern approached make for more efficient solutions.
The selective crystallisation plant will be designed, built and tested in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, before deployment at its pilot plant location in El Dorado, Arkansas, US.