E3 Metals Corp. has been awarded federal funding of up to $56,000 to support a portion of the company's lithium extraction technology development.
The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) funding advances work with the NRC Energy Storage Materials Formulation and Optimization Group in Ottawa.
The group has experience in research, development and validation of materials across the energy storage value chain. E3 Metals will be matching the NRC IRAP funding which will continue to support the advancement of the company's lithium concentration technology throughout 2018.
Pending finalization of the services agreement, the development work at NRC will assist E3 Metals with optimization and further validation of its lithium concentration technology, the Calgary-based company said.
Using their expertise in sorbent synthesis, the NRC will work to further enhance performance of the selective sorbent to improve reaction time, lithium recovery and overall concentration factor.
Sorbent optimization is a key step leading to the company's micro-pilot facility planned for late 2018. This facility will demonstrate the effectiveness of the company's proprietary concentration technology in combination with already commercially available polishing and production technologies.
The modular, bench-scale, prototype is expected to produce small quantities of high purity LiOH and/or Li2CO3 from E3 Metals' petro-lithium brines. Once the process has proven successful, the modular prototype will be transitioned into the field for scaled-up testing. With brine readily available from several oil and gas operating partners, field-testing of the prototype equipment is expected to commence in early 2019.
Independently verified testing of the company's lithium concentration technology to date has resulted in the successful concentration of raw brine up to 16 times in less than three hours, while removing over 99 per cent of critical metal impurities, the company said.