Infinity Lithium investigates world first use of green hydrogen to make greener lithium chemicals
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ASX-listed lithium company Infinity Lithium will be the first to study the use of green hydrogen to produce battery quality lithium chemicals in a partnership with European industrial giant thyssenkrupp.
If successful it will bolster the environmental credentials of Infinity’s (ASX:INF) San Jose project in Spain, the second largest hard rock lithium resource in the EU.
Lithium companies are looking hard at ways to reduce the carbon intensity of their projects as battery and automakers look to limit fossil fuel use in electric vehicle supply chains.
While being based near many of the world’s largest carmakers in Europe is one advantage for Infinity and its San Jose project in Spain’s Extremadura region, an early shift to the ‘fuel of the future’ would be another advantage for its downstream lithium chemicals.
Infinity says the MoU with thyssenkrupp BU Mining will study its potential to use green hydrogen as the energy source to power the rotary kiln that will be required under the sulphate roast stage of its process flowsheet.
Under the MoU, thyssenkrupp will assess varying compositions of natural gas and green hydrogen for use at San Jose.
It can assess the potential use of natural gas from the project’s adjacent pipeline infrastructure and the impact of blended gas and hydrogen, which is already in use in pipelines globally.
The company and thyssenkrupp BU Mining will also evaluate the potential use of hydrogen from alternative sources which can include a localised source of green hydrogen or the development of specific infrastructure on site.
“The ability to be at the forefront of this global leading application of green hydrogen has wide ranging implications for the company and the industry,” Infinity Lithium CEO and MD Ryan Parkin said.
“Infinity and thyssenkrupp BU Mining are bringing world leading technologies to San José in alignment to Extremadura’s ambitions to produce green hydrogen from their vast renewable energy projects, and progress sustainable industrialisation in the region.”
Infinity says the process being studied by the company and thyssenkrupp would be a world first application to an integrated lithium project.
Pilot scale activities will be established using the new thyssenkrupp BU Mining Hydrogen Burner installation in Germany to assess San José feedstock and the use of green hydrogen to power a rotary kiln.
“Global demand for raw materials is rising all the time, whilst there is consciousness about the finite nature of resources and the need to protect the environment,” thyssenkrupp BU Mining CEO Jan Lüder said.
“As one of the world’s leading engineering and equipment supply companies for the mining industry, we are aware of our customers’ needs to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations.
“Among other developments, our pilot hydrogen/natural gas combustion facility allows us to evaluate with our customers the potential of using green H2 in the mining industry as an alternative to fossil fuels with special attention to the final product quality.
“Our collaboration with Infinity Lithium is a great step in this direction and we are proud to support the development of a crucial project for Extremadura, Spain and Europe.”
The partnership will also see the companies examine further strategic opportunities relating to San José and the application to Infinity GreenTech’s technological developments.
Infinity launched Infinity GreenTech last month to commercialise a sustainable, novel lithium hydrometallurgical conversion process.
GreenTech will use renewable energies to convert lithium raw material to lithium chemicals and will in turn reduce the processing time and minimise energy inputs.
The collaboration with thyssenkrupp BU Mining will examine the suitability of the pyrometallurgical applications of these novel technologies.
The company says the provisionally protected patent has the potential to be applied to other hard rock lithium deposits around the world as well as other battery materials projects.
This article was developed in collaboration with Infinity Lithium, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.