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Standard Lithium provides results of its optimized DLE process

Standard Lithium Ltd., a near-commercial lithium development company, recently shared performance results from its Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) process at its Demonstration Plant (Plant) near El Dorado, Arkansas.

Initially commissioned in May 2020, the plant has operated on a 24/7 basis since then (aside from turnaround due to equipment upgrades in the plant and brine supply interruptions). To date, the plant has processed more than 15 million gallons (58 million liters) of Smackover brine, providing valuable data and overall process improvements for the design and future operation of a full-scale commercial DLE plant.


The performance results reported below reflect the success of the LiPRO LSS (DLE) technology integrated into Standard Lithium’s overall flowsheet, which is detailed in the Definitive Feasibility Study for Phase 1A and the Preliminary Feasibility Study for South West Arkansas. Both studies incorporate the LiPRO LSS (DLE) process developed in collaboration with Koch Technology Solutions, LLC (KTS).

Key technical highlights of the Demo Plant and the LiPRO LSS (DLE) include:

  • Lithium Recovery Efficiency: During a representative period of performance over July and August 2023, the LiPRO LSS (DLE) process achieved an average lithium recovery of 96.1% from the continuous incoming brine flow.

  • Element Rejection Rate: During the same period, the DLE process rejected, on average, more than 99% of the key contaminants sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium from the brine (i.e. less than 1% of those contaminants made it through the DLE into the first lithium chloride solution); more than 95% of boron was rejected.

  • Operational Cycles: The LiPRO LSS (DLE) process has completed more than 8,000 operational cycles.

  • Brine Processed: As of the end of September 2023, the Demo Plant had processed 15,467,815 gallons (58,552,049 liters) of Smackover brine, produced directly from the formation and reinjected continuously back into the same formation.

  • Product: The LiPRO LSS (DLE) initial product has been further purified and concentrated in the integrated Plant to form a final LiCl solution (the “Intermediate Product”) containing more than 10,000 mg/L lithium. This Intermediate Product has been shipped off-site and has been successfully converted to both battery quality lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide.

One of the fundamental findings of the Demonstration Plant is the necessity of long-duration, on-site continuous processing of real brine. In traditional small-scale, short-term off-site batch processes, brine is isolated, transported and often undergoes physical and chemical changes before testing. The Demo Plant handles real Smackover brine directly from the resource. The long-term operation of the Demo Plant has been crucial in replicating and understanding the real-world dynamic conditions of continuous commercial-scale operations, the company said.

In addition, operating the Demo Plant for an extended period has allowed Standard Lithium and its joint development partner Koch Technology Solutions to tailor and optimize all parts of the multi-step flowsheet that allow the Plant to be scaled-up for commercial production.


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