SBIR Phase I: Novel Apparatus for Producing High-Purity Lithium Metal

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$150,000.00
Award Year:
2011
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
1046620
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
1046620
Solicitation Year:
2010
Solicitation Topic Code:
BC
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
72 Ward Road, Lancaster, NY, 14086-9779
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
092464064
Principal Investigator:
Peter Symons
(716) 684-0513
peter.symons@electrosynthesis.com
Business Contact:
Peter Symons
PhD
(716) 684-0513
peter.symons@electrosynthesis.com
Research Institute:
Stub




Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will determine feasibility of using new technology to produce high purity lithium metal. The existing energy-intensive production method operates at 460C, has changed little in over 100 years and requires over 35 kWh/kg of lithium metal. The purity of the product is very dependent on the feed material with high purity lithium produced via a further high-temperature distillation step. A current trend returning to using lithium metal to produce high energy batteries will increase demand for high-purity lithium. If successful, the proposed novel electrolyzer will produce higher quality lithium metal at lower processing temperatures and power consumption. This project will test and select suitable components for the electolyzer and demonstrate their use for high purity lithium production. The broader/commercial impacts of this research are a production method capable of producing large quantities of high-purity battery-grade lithium metal. The requirement for energy storage for transportation and utility applications has generated a large amount of research into high energy density batteries of which protected or sealed lithium metal batteries are being developed. The move to lithium metal batteries will greatly improve the viability and cost effectiveness of a range of energy based technologies, and will have a direct impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Current lithium metal production methods would not be able to meet these demands which would impede installation of these batteries. Furthermore the current process would not be able to produce the required purity of product without energy intensive distillations.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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