ROCK TECH LITHIUM TO COLLABORATE WITH FRAUNHOFER INSTITUTE AND CIRCULOR TO PURSUE CO2 NEUTRAL LITHIUM
Rock Tech Lithium Inc. will collaborate with the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT and Circulor, the United Kingdom based leading sustainable supply chain traceability provider, to achieve comprehensive CO2 (carbon dioxide) transparency of Rock Tech's lithium value chain -- from the raw material, spodumene, to the end product, lithium hydroxide.
Rock Tech, which plans to supply lithium hydroxide to manufacturers of batteries for electric cars from 2024, recently published plans for the first European lithium hydroxide factory (converter) in Brandenburg, Germany. The company aims for this converter to become the first in the industry to achieve CO2 neutrality and a closed material cycle for both lithium and valuable byproducts.
With Fraunhofer and Circulor both possessing a clear focus on sustainability and responsible sourcing, this collaboration will allow Rock Tech to make a significant contribution to a holistic view of the ecological footprint of electric cars. Perspectively, the company also aims to recycle the lithium contained in spent batteries, closing the material loop and securing sustainable access to the raw material. Based on the work of Fraunhofer and Circulor, Rock Tech will create a material passport for its product. With this, the company is anticipating the coming European Union Battery Regulation, which aims to ensure that batteries are sustainable throughout their life cycle.
Markus Brugmann, chief executive officer of Rock Tech Lithium, commented, "A holistic documentation of our value chain will allow us to provide information about the origin and environmental balance of our lithium hydroxide, creating a decisive added value for our customers."
Life cycle assessment
Fraunhofer supports Rock Tech in recording all material and energy flows and calculating the life cycle assessment of processes along the entire value chain. This starts with the raw material itself and ends with the delivery of the high-quality lithium hydroxide to customers. Based on the data obtained, Rock Tech intends to further optimize the production process already in the planning phase -- with the aim of reducing energy requirements as much as possible.
According to Dr. Ilka Gehrke, head of the environment and resource utilization department at Fraunhofer: "Extensive collection and analysis of their data not only allows Rock Tech to design the production of lithium hydroxide more sustainably, but also supports them in implementing subsequent process optimizations in the most energy and environmentally friendly way possible."
Fraunhofer specializes in the areas of climate-neutral energy systems, resource-efficient processes and circular products, making concrete contributions to the achievement of the United Nations' 17 sustainable development goals. Innovative technologies, products and services for the circular economy that can be implemented on an industrial scale are developed at the Oberhausen research institute. With a total of over 30,000 employees, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is the largest organization for applied research and development services in Europe.
Circulor provides Rock Tech with lithium traceability from the raw material source to the lithium hydroxide plant in Germany. The company tracks raw materials in real time using a software solution, even when they change physical state, as is the case with lithium. Furthermore, Circulor also offers traceability of CO2 emissions generated in the supply chain, allowing Rock Tech to analyze and manage them at every stage of the delivery process.
"We at Circulor are proud of this collaboration. It will enable Rock Tech to bring lithium to market with a clearly traceable origin and clear information on CO2 emissions generated," said Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, chief executive officer and founder of Circulor. "With the automotive industry already preparing for the EU Battery Directive and Battery Passport regulations, those who can demonstrate such sustainable practices have a clear advantage."
Circulor is the leading provider of sustainable supply chain traceability. The company's customers include Volvo Cars, Polestar, Jaguar Land Rover, BHP and Boeing.
At the same time, the digitalized provision of material and energy flows is a prerequisite for the economic reprocessing of batteries. Rock Tech Lithium's goal is to become the first closed-loop supplier of lithium hydroxide. Currently, only 1 per cent of lithium from batteries is recycled worldwide. The German-Canadian company aims to use 50 per cent recycled materials from spent batteries in the production of battery-grade lithium hydroxide by 2030 at the latest.
About Rock Tech Lithium Inc.
Rock Tech Lithium is a clean tech company with operations in Canada and Germany that aims to supply the automotive industry with high-quality lithium hydroxide made in Germany. As early as 2024, the company intends to commission Europe's first lithium converter with a nameplate production capacity of 24,000 tonnes per year. This is equivalent to the volume needed to equip around 500,000 electric cars with lithium-ion batteries.
The company has set itself the goal of creating the world's first closed loop for lithium, thus closing the raw material gap on the road to clean mobility. Rock Tech owns the Georgia Lake project in Ontario, Canada, and, as early as 2030, around 50 per cent of the raw materials used are expected to come from the recycling of batteries.
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