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Schlumberger New Energy has partnered with Panasonic Energy of North America to advance the new sustainable battery-grade lithium extraction and production process.

The latest collaboration agreement is aimed at validating and optimising Schlumberger’s new direct lithium extraction (DLE) technique.

The DLE technique has been developed to produce high-purity, battery-grade material while maximising lithium resource recovery.

The process is planned to be used at the Neolith Energy pilot plant in Nevada, US. The facility will be built by NeoLith Energy, a joint venture between Pure Energy Minerals and Schlumberger.

Schlumberger expects the latest collaboration to help improve lithium production solutions, which would address the anticipated demand surge for lithium in the global electric vehicle (EV) market.

The pilot plant is located nearly 200 miles from Panasonic’s advanced battery manufacturing operation in Sparks, Nevada.

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By GlobalData

Schlumberger New Energy executive vice-president Ashok Belani said: “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.

“We are committed to expanding the global supply chain for advanced lithium compounds to support the forecasted surge in demand and enable new opportunities for lithium production globally.”

Schlumberger New Energy, together with Panasonic, intends to accelerate the development and implementation of an innovative lithium production process.

The aim of the Neolith Energy plant is to pump brine from the subsurface and extract more than 90% of the dissolved lithium.

It also focuses on pumping more than 85% of the brine in an environmentally safe manner back to the subsurface.