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Standard Lithium, partners to pilot carbon capture technology in Arkansas


Technology produces high purity CO2 gas stream that can be sequestered, reused

Manufacturing of pilot unit expected in Q4

Standard Lithium has started a pilot carbon capture project in Arkansas with the objective of minimizing carbon dioxide emissions from future operations and related supply chain activities as it looks to scale up production of battery-quality lithium chemicals in the state, the company said Sept. 14.

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The pilot project will be undertaken in collaboration with the owner of the technology, Aqualung Carbon Capture, and will be installed at a natural gas processing site in southern Arkansas owned and operated by Mission Creek Resources, Standard Lithium said in a statement.

Norway-based Aqualung's technology was developed by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology after over 20 years of research and is based on a membrane system that selectively extracts CO2 from a wide range of CO2 sources emitted by hydrocarbon-burning energy sources, according to the company.

The technology produces a high purity CO2 gas stream that can either be sequestered or reused and has been successfully piloted in Europe, where it has been shown to effectively extract CO2 from carbon gas streams, Standard Lithium said.

The pilot project will be located at Mission Creek's Dorcheat Macedonia facility and will take a slipstream of flue gas for processing through the Aqualung pilot unit. The resulting concentrated CO2 stream will then be used in Standard Lithium's ongoing research and development activities to investigate the utilization of southern Arkansas sourced CO2 for process and reagent optimization, the company said.

Manufacturing of the pilot unit is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021 and pending permitting and finalizing of other agreements, to be installed at the project site in Q1 or Q2 2022, Standard Lithium said.

"...The future of the lithium industry rests on being able to produce sustainable battery-quality chemicals with the lowest carbon footprint in jurisdictions where their production is wanted and needed," Standard Lithium president and COO Andy Robinson said. "We feel that successful proof of this carbon capture technology in southern Arkansas may demonstrate another important technological step towards making the Gulf Coast region an industry-leading producer of sustainable lithium chemicals."

The new pilot project builds on and aligns with the White House's Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) announcement June 30, which seeks to develop and deploy CCUS technologies to improve industrial processes, Standard Lithium said.

Standard Lithium previously said it was targeting initial annual production of 20,900 mt of battery-quality lithium chemicals in Arkansas, representing roughly five times the current domestic production.