Nevada-headquartered American Battery Technology Co. (ABTC) on June 18 said it has manufactured lithium hydroxide with internally-developed processing technologies from a U.S resource, reducing reliance on foreign entities.

Demonstration-scale quantities of lithium hydroxide was produced at ABTC’s integrated facility using lithium-bearing claystone material from its Tonopah Flats Lithium Project (TFLP) in Nevada, according to a news release.

Lithium hydroxide is an ingredient in the cathode of lithium-ion batteries, which are used to power electric vehicles, electronics and other devices. The U.S. is home to some of the world’s largest lithium deposits, but little of it mined domestically. Companies like ABTC are working to change as they pursue lithium projects amid the transition to cleaner forms of energy to reduce emissions.

Lithium hydroxide is manufactured at American Battery Technology Company’s integrated demonstration facility in Nevada. (Source: American Battery Technology)

“There are currently multiple corporations constructing multibillion-dollar facilities for the manufacturing of high energy density cathode active material within North America, and these facilities require large amounts of lithium specifically in the form of battery grade lithium hydroxide as their feed material,” stated ABTC CEO Ryan Melsert. “However, there are currently no commercial facilities within the U.S. to manufacture battery grade lithium hydroxide from U.S.-based resources.”

That is something ABTC aims to change. Having developed its own lithium hydroxide manufacturing technology, ABTC built a demonstration-scale facility with support from a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

“ABTC is working to further evolve this technology by constructing a commercial-scale 30,000 tonnes lithium hydroxide per year refinery utilizing this system design directly at its TFLP property, which has been identified as one of the largest lithium resources in the U.S.,” the company said.

Construction firm Black & Veatch has been selected to carry out engineering, procurement and construction of ABTC’s commercial-scale lithium hydroxide refinery.

Next steps will include strategic partners using lithium hydroxide in qualification processes as they look to negotiate long-term commercial-scale offtake agreements. The company said it is also commercializing technologies for its battery recycling operations and has manufactured a large inventory of recycled battery metal products at its recycling facility in Storey County, Nevada.