Europe's First Lithium Refinery in UK

UK to set up Europe's first Lithium refinery in Teesside, England. This refinery would cut carbon footprint by 80% and power up one million Electric cars by 2030.

AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY NEWS

Salman Chaudhary, Founder Pinkywheels.com

Europe's first lithium refinery in the UK


The United Kingdom is in the process of constructing Europe's inaugural lithium refinery, which has the potential to fuel as many as one million electric vehicles. In addition to supplying batteries for the increasing fleet of electric cars, the facility anticipates a significant 80 percent reduction in the current carbon footprint associated with lithium production.

The demand for lithium, a crucial metallic element, has experienced a remarkable surge in recent years, paralleling the global commitment to intensify the shift towards renewable energy sources. This surge in demand can be attributed to lithium's pivotal role in the production of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).

Projections indicate that as much as 60 percent of new car sales by the year 2030 will rely on lithium-ion batteries. As a point of reference, the battery within a Tesla Model S currently incorporates approximately 12 kilograms of lithium.

Nevertheless, the remarkable growth in the electric vehicle manufacturing sector has resulted in a heavy reliance on East Asia, predominantly China, which presently accounts for the refinement of 89 percent of the world's lithium.

Acknowledging this dependence and aiming to bolster the automotive industry within the United Kingdom and Europe, the UK government has provided its approval for the establishment of a lithium refinery by Green Lithium.

This facility is set to be situated in Teesside, England. The establishment of this refinery marks a strategic move to enhance the capabilities of the UK and European car manufacturers, thereby reducing their dependency on external sources for this vital battery component.

Lithium Metal Li
Lithium Metal Li

Lithium Refinery to Power Million Electric Cars

"The impetus lies within the expansion of battery materials requisite for propelling the electric revolution. The imperative for electric vehicles and the necessity for grid and domestic storage have collectively generated an extensive surge in demand for battery chemicals within Europe. Our projections indicate that by 2030, the requirement will reach a substantial 800,000 tonnes per annum," remarked Sean Sargent, the CEO of Green Lithium.

The slated commencement of operations for the plant is set for the year 2027. It is anticipated that this facility will possess an annual production capacity of 50,000 tonnes, dedicated to the production of battery-grade lithium chemicals. This capacity, as the company states, equates to the quantity of lithium needed to furnish batteries for one million electric vehicle units.

lithium EV Battery in the Factory
lithium EV Battery in the Factory

Lithium Refinery to Cut Carbon Footprint by 80%

Labelled as a "substantial dividend in carbon reduction," the upcoming refinery in Teesside, as outlined by Green Lithium, is poised to yield remarkable environmental benefits.

The facility will engage in the importation of spodumene, a robust mineral sourced from Western Australia. This mineral will then undergo an intricate processing regimen within the refinery, culminating in the extraction of lithium. The refined lithium will be transformed into a chemical form that is well-suited for battery applications.

Lithium mining, however, has been recognized for its contribution to air pollution and soil contamination, presenting ecological challenges. With a steadfast commitment to sustainable practices, Green Lithium has designed an approach to alleviate these concerns. The company intends to curtail the carbon footprint associated with lithium refining through the implementation of several innovative strategies. These encompass low-energy processes, the integration of renewable electricity sources, the utilization of hydrogen gas, and the incorporation of carbon capture technology. Collectively, these measures are projected to confer an impressive 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions compared to conventional refineries.

Sean Sargent, CEO of Green Lithium, underscored the significance of this approach, noting, "The seemingly minor cost incurred in transporting the material to the UK is vastly overshadowed by the substantial advantages of our decarbonized process employed within the UK." He emphasized that this approach immediately ushers in substantial gains in terms of carbon reduction. Additionally, Sargent emphasized the company's commitment to sustainability by producing its chemicals in an environmentally conscientious manner.

The Green Lithium refinery in Teesside, therefore, represents not only a tangible reduction in carbon emissions but also a noteworthy stride towards sustainable chemical production in the battery industry.

Source: Greenlithium.co.uk

Green Lithium Refinery in Teesside England
Green Lithium Refinery in Teesside England