Schlumberger New Energy, the company's subsidiary for low-carbon markets, will work with Panasonic Energy of North America on direct lithium extraction (DLE) processes at the former's NeoLith Energy pilot plant in Nevada.
"This collaboration paves the way for improved lithium production solutions that will help meet the expected surge in demand for lithium as the electric vehicle (EV) market takes off worldwide," said Schlumberger New Energy.
Proponents say DLE can improve lithium extraction's environmental footprint while also reducing production time from over a year to weeks.
"The unique process is in sharp contrast to conventional evaporative methods of extracting lithium, with a significantly reduced groundwater and physical footprint," said said Schlumberger.
NeoLith Energy will pump brine from the subsurface in the area, extract greater than 90% of the dissolved lithium, and pump more than 85% of the brine back to the subsurface.
Schlumberger said that as well as maximising the reinjection of the brine, the ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for any freshwater.
"Panasonic is a pioneer in electric vehicle battery technology, and we are excited to collaborate with them in developing our differentiated direct lithium extraction and production process," said Ashok Belani, executive vice president Schlumberger New Energy.
The pilot plant is just 200 miles from Panasonic's large-scale advanced battery manufacturing operation, Panasonic Energy of North America, in Sparks, Nevada.