Schlumberger announced that it has entered into a partnership with Gradiant, a global water solutions provider, to introduce a key sustainable technology into the production process for battery-grade lithium compounds.
As part of Schlumberger’s NeoLith Energy direct lithium extraction (DLE) and production flowsheet, Gradiant technology is used to concentrate the lithium solution and generate fresh water—a critical element in sustainable lithium production from brine.
“Proper natural resource management is essential in mineral production, and nowhere more so than in lithium,” said Gavin Rennick, president of Schlumberger’s New Energy business. “The unprecedented growth in demand for this critical mineral requires high-quality production without compromising sustainability. The integration of Gradiant technology into our direct lithium extraction (DLE) flowsheet has been key in our strategy to improve sustainability in the global lithium production industry.”
Gradiant’s new solution enhances the impact of the sustainable lithium extraction process—reduced time-to-market and environmental footprint. The technology enables high levels of lithium concentration in a fraction of the time required by conventional methods, while also reducing carbon emissions, energy consumption, and capital costs when compared to thermal-based technologies. This technology integration can be applied into new lithium mineral extraction and production sites, opening opportunities to untapped lithium production regions, as well as existing lithium production operations.
The collaboration will enable the lithium industry to meet surging mineral demand with a previously unattainable level of water utilization, by simultaneously lowering the consumption of fresh water and reducing wastewater.
“We are excited to be working with Schlumberger, with whom we are pioneering a new era of sustainable mineral resource recovery,” said Prakash Govindan, COO of Gradiant. “This is made possible by Gradiant’s deep understanding of the complex chemistry that underlies the production processes, which is then operationalized by machine learning and digital technology. The sustainability impact of the integrated Schlumberger process, combined with Gradiant solutions, is a game-changer for the lithium production market. This strategic partnership will enable the global expansion of Gradiant’s technology in this important industry.”