Aussie climate technology company backed to disrupt global lithium production

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The CEFC has announced funding support for an Australian climate technology company targeting the global lithium market.

The CEFC, through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, has made a $1.5 million investment in Novalith, which is developing a ground-breaking Australian-made technology that could revolutionise the global battery supply chain.

The CEFC made the investment in Novalith’s $2.5 million seed round, which will allow the company 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.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said Novalith is now set to accelerate the development of its novel low carbon, sustainable approach to lithium production, with the goal of substantially reducing production costs and improving sustainability outcomes.

“The Novalith technology has the potential to change the nature of lithium production by using less energy and creating less emissions than current alternatives,” Mr Learmonth noted.

“It also offers an exciting opportunity for Australia to become a major processing, manufacturing and trading hub for lithium resources rather than merely exporting raw materials.”

“By investing in this ground-breaking Novalith technology, we are backing the development of a competitive sustainable business of the future.”

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.

Novalith Founder and CEO Steven Vassiloudis said the company’s approach also negates the need for extensive offshore processing, enabling Australian-produced lithium ore to be processed closer to mine sites.

“The future of lithium mining and refining will require the elimination of carbon-intensive energy sources, and ideally turn carbon waste into carbon value,” Mr Vassiloudis said.

“This is what we are working towards. Novalith’s technology uses significantly less equipment, chemical reagents, water and energy than conventional processing, which reduces capital and production costs.

“The direct use and sequestration of CO2 in producing lithium chemicals also produces a much smaller emissions footprint.”

Image credit: https://www.cefc.com.au/media/media-release/novalith-sets-sights-on-global-lithium-industry-with-backing-of-the-cefc/