Gradiant Unveils alkaLi The World’s Most Efficient EC 2 Process for Battery-Grade Lithium Production

Gradiant, a global leader in advanced water and wastewater solutions, has announced the spin-off of alkaLi™, powered by EC2. This marks the launch of the world’s only integrated solution for battery-grade lithium extraction, concentration, and conversion, now an independent company dedicated to accelerating the scale-up of battery-grade lithium production. With the rising global demand for lithium driven by electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and portable electronic devices, EC2 offers an unprecedented method for rapidly scaling lithium production. Key features of EC2 include:

  • Instantaneous production in seconds, rather than years
  • 50% reduction in operating expenses (OPEX) and zero capital expenditure (CAPEX)
  • Industry-leading sustainability with significantly reduced carbon and water footprints
  • Accelerated approval processes to meet global lithium demand

The EC2 system is balanced, integrated, and adaptable to various input sources.

alkaLi’s EC2 is a highly modular, three-stage system capable of accommodating a wide range of source inputs, including brine, evaporation, and recovery. The technology can be deployed in complete or standalone stages, integrating with existing field infrastructure and optionally using SmartOps AI to increase production. Lab and field tests have proven EC2’s efficacy, with a commercially proven system completed in partnership with SLB in 2023. alkaLi will continue to offer Gradiant’s flexible business model, providing producers with a zero capital expenditure option where the company builds, owns, and operates the solution.

Prakash Govindan, Chief Operating Officer of Gradiant, commented, “Gradiant is driven by a clear purpose to ensure water security for future generations. Beyond water, we are passionate about holistic environmental solutions, including the successful electrification of society to reduce the burden of fossil fuels. Lithium is in short supply. We must accelerate the scale of our production solutions, and it is for this reason that we are spinning out alkaLi, a fully independent company focused on maximizing the efficiency of battery-grade lithium production.”

Siva Kumar Kota, Head of Technology, added, “Gradiant is different. We are more than just a water company; we are a technology company. EC2 is powered by our revolutionary RO Infinity counter-current reverse osmosis technology. The CFRO operates with significantly lower energy and water requirements, with concentration limits close to saturation, without the environmental impacts common with existing technologies.”

alkaLi’s EC2 solution sets new industry standards for the extraction, concentration, and conversion of battery-grade lithium, optimizing efficiency and sustainability at every stage:

  • Extraction: Synthetic resins and new membrane materials optimize lithium extraction efficiency, far exceeding industry standards, reaching second-generation levels, and obtaining the most lithium-rich concentrate to maximize downstream efficiency. The system produces a lean solution with a lower lithium concentration, directing it to the CFRO unit in the concentration stage.
  • Concentration: Powered by Gradiant’s award-winning CFRO, the system maximizes efficiency with energy consumption significantly lower than thermal processing.
    • CFRO I receives lithium-rich concentrate and further concentrates it to a level sufficient to convert it into battery-grade lithium.
    • CFRO II receives a lean solution with lower lithium concentration, reducing TDS to below regulatory limits, thus speeding up licensing.
  • Conversion: The concentrated lithium is precipitated as a solid to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate (Li₂CO₃) or lithium hydroxide (LiOH).

alkaLi is currently recruiting new client partners.

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