Australian start-up eyes global market with innovative lithium technology
Lithium helps power our clean energy future
Australian climate technology start-up Novalith is targeting the global clean energy market with its innovative low carbon and sustainable approach to lithium production, backed by the Clean Energy Innovation Fund.
battery industry by 2030
The future of lithium mining and refining will require the elimination of carbon-intensive energy sources, and ideally turn carbon waste into carbon value. This is what we are working towards.Steven VassiloudisCEO, Novalith
The CEFC, through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, has made a $1.5 million investment in Novalith’s $2.5 million seed round. The capital raising will allow Novalith to finance the build-out and operation of a pilot plant in Sydney, as it moves toward the development of a commercial demonstration plant.
The seed round also drew support from the US-based venture capital investor, The Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust’s Neglected Climate Opportunities LLC.
Lithium is a key component of rechargeable batteries, used to electrify transport and decarbonise energy markets.
With most hard rock lithium produced in Australia exported for processing, there is significant potential for Australia to add value to its minerals sector, by developing its own lithium processing and purification industry. Analysis suggests a diversified battery industry using onshore materials processing could create more than 34,000 jobs and increase the value of the Australian battery industry by $7.4 billion by 2030.
Global battery uptake is expected to grow at least nine-fold over the next decade as the world increases its use of renewable energy. The flow on demand for lithium has focused attention on the sustainability of lithium mining and production methods. Conventional methods for mining and refining lithium can be environmentally challenging, with material carbon and reagent footprints. The extraction of lithium from salt-lake brine also produces significant land and water footprints.
The Novalith process for extracting lithium consumes carbon dioxide as a reagent, reducing emissions, eliminating the need for conventionally consumed chemicals and minimising waste footprints. The Novalith approach also negates the need for extensive offshore processing, enabling Australian-produced lithium ore to be processed closer to mine sites, further strengthening the sustainability of the supply chain.