Adionics completes successful 1,500 hours of direct lithium extraction testing at SQM’s Atacama salar premises

Adionics, a trailblazer in eco-friendly liquid-liquid direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology, has announced the successful completion of 1,500 hours of lithium extraction tests from brine using their pilot plant. Installed on the premises of SQM – the global mining leader in lithium production from brines, the tests were conducted during the second half of 2023 in the desert of Atacama Salar, Chile. Adionics tested five different brines from the Salar of Atacama for SQM, demonstrating the versatility and efficacy of their technology using a highly customized proprietary liquid formulation (Flionex®).

The brines tested displayed a very wide range of Lithium concentrations. The results revealed exceptional Lithium recovery rates (up to 98%) and astonishing lithium chloride purity (up to 99%), with Flionex® exhibiting remarkable selectivity, capturing Lithium while leaving out Boron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Sulfates. The remaining impurity profile consisted only of a limited amount of both Sodium and Calcium Chlorides, highlighting the ability to achieve the level of purity required to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate.

These outstanding results underscore Adionics’ capability to recover lithium from brines at varying concentrations with high selectivity, ensuring the production of high-purity concentrated Lithium Chloride. The tests demonstrate the operability and stability of Adionics’ technology in real and not just controlled conditions, including changes in feed brines composition, fluctuating day and night temperatures, at high altitude.

The test results clearly demonstrate that Adionics has reached full industrial readiness.

Gabriel Toffani – CEO at Adionics:  “We are extremely proud of the results of our latest phase of testing at SQM’s Atacama Salar. Our team’s commitment to innovation and sustainable practices is reflected in the outstanding performance of our technology. With lithium recovery rates and purity that set new industry benchmarks, we’re not just extracting lithium, we’re setting the stage for a cleaner, more efficient future in energy storage. This is an important step in ensuring a more sustainable supply chain for the batteries that power our clean energy transition.”

Founded in 2012, Adionics is at the forefront of developing a DLE process that enhances global lithium production –  fundamental for the transition to renewable energy, given lithium’s widespread use in electric vehicles and rechargeable batteries. Adionics’ innovative technology not only boosts lithium mining productivity but also streamlines the value chain, significantly reducing the environmental footprint of Li-ion battery manufacturing and recycling.

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