Albemarle Corporation, a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, announced today the company has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a critical partner for two lithium research projects over three years through a Battery Manufacturing Lab Call. Albemarle will work in conjunction with two DOE labs on the company’s approved projects.

The first project, in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, is “Advanced Brine Processing to Enable U.S. Lithium Independence.” This research enables the development of a novel technology which provides a new production route eliminating steps in the current state-of-the-art process by going directly from lithium chloride to lithium hydroxide.

The second project, which will be done in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, is “Scaling Up of High-Performance Single Crystalline Ni-rich Cathode Materials with Advanced Lithium Salts.” This project will accelerate the commercialization of high-energy cathodes for extended battery life in the electric vehicle (EV) application.

“We are honored to have the DOE select these two important research efforts in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,” said Dr. Glen Merfeld, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Lithium. “Successful execution of the first project will allow for more efficient utilization of the lithium brine resource in the Clayton Valley area of Nevada and a new pathway to a critical lithium material. The technology could also help make U.S. geothermal and oilfield brines more economical, including our brine reserves in Magnolia, Arkansas. Through the second project, we will learn how tailored lithium salts can further improve cathode performance, leading to more energy dense and longer life lithium ion batteries.”