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PartnershipsTransforming Lithium Extraction in the UK in partnership with Cornish Lithium &...

Transforming Lithium Extraction in the UK in partnership with Cornish Lithium & Innovate UK

Manchester based Watercycle Technologies Ltd, a pioneering critical minerals and water filtration specialist, is delighted to announce that it has been granted a £500,000 Innovate UK Smart Grant, in partnership with Cornish Lithium Ltd, to test its ground-breaking direct lithium extraction (‘DLE’) process in Cornwall.

Watercycle’s patented filtration process can selectively extract lithium from sub-surface waters, such as those found in the Southwest of the UK. Given lithium’s essential role in battery technologies, the ability to obtain it from waters cost effectively and establish a domestic supply of the mineral is vital for the UK’s Net-Zero strategy.

Under the terms of the agreement, Watercycle will deliver a containerised filtration system to extract lithium from Cornish Lithium’s project in Cornwall at a pilot scale. The project, which includes an environmental impact assessment, is anticipated to complete in October 2023.

Watercycle CEO Dr Seb Leaper said, “Having already proven that our proprietary filtration membranes and systems work in lab conditions, we are excited to be working with Cornish Lithium to demonstrate their scalability and accelerate the creation of a resilient, domestic lithium supply chain in the UK.  This agreement marks the next step in our development strategy as we look at the commercialisation of our technology, which is capable of treating a wide range of water types and can deliver dramatic reductions in costs, carbon emissions and water consumption compared with current processes.”

Watercycle co-founder and CTO Dr Ahmed Abdelkarim added, “It is great to be working with like-minded partners, Cornish Lithium and Innovate UK, which, like us, are focused on making a positive impact on the global transition through advancing innovative technologies. Lithium is a critical element with EV demand set to grow 418% from 468 GWh this year to 2.4 TWh by 2030 and we are delighted to be part of that chain, offering a British solution to the challenge of primary lithium production, which is the first link within the wider EV supply chain.”

Lead Geochemist Dr Rebecca Paisley at Cornish Lithium said, “Cornish Lithium is keen to support projects from UK-based universities, and the companies commercialising them, which we believe have the potential to be both game changing and contribute to the UK’s Net Zero strategy. Working with Watercycle in the development of a pilot system aligns strongly with our Research and Innovation strategy, as well as our continued efforts to trial multiple DLE technologies at pilot scale in Cornwall to establish the most effective and responsible process flow sheet. We have a good relationship with the Watercycle team and look forward to progressing the project over the next 12 months.”

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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