Enertopia's project, which is in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Moselle Technologies and four other companies, will use magnetic core-shell nanoparticles technology to attempt to recover lithium from unconventional sources.
The DOE will provide US$50 million of funding for the 15 projects. The projects it has selected are focused on critical materials, and cover areas such as field validation and demonstration, along with next-generation extraction, separation and processing technologies.
The DOE defines critical materials as key resources that are needed to manufacture products for the clean energy economy. These include rare earth elements that are used to manufacture high-strength magnets for offshore wind-turbine generators and lithium and cobalt in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.
The projects selected for funding by the DOE aim to reduce the costs of critical materials as well as the environmental impacts of their production.
Robert McAllister, president and CEO of Enertopia, said: "Enertopia is looking forward to getting testing underway on its lithium claystone rock that was drilled in 2018 and will be used in the solution tests using the nanotechnology mentioned above through this project in the coming months and will provide a further update when results warrant."
In December 2020, Enertopia acquired a patent for a solar energy process to use its waste heat that it said could improve environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in the mining industry. In May, the company filed a second provisional patent application for a technology to extract heat from photovoltaic (PV) panels.