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Carbon Footprint of Rock Tech Lithium 30 Percent Below Average

Vancouver, Canada

Rock Tech has prepared for the upcoming transparency and battery regulations, as well as the automotive sector, on their approach to supporting the electric revolution and driving sustainability. The German Fraunhofer UMSICHT institute completed a Life Cycle Assessment for lithium hydroxide, calculating a base case carbon footprint of 10.5kg, which is 30% lower than the industry average given in the International Energy Agency’s recent special report.

Rock Tech has the ability to reduce emissions to 5.4 kg through careful selection of suppliers and without changing the lithium conversion process. Changing from an average grid mix to 100% renewable sources might cut the impact by over 20 percent.

“We want to contribute to zero-emissions and battery electric vehicles, accepting the challenge to reduce the environmental impact of our lithium hydroxide. The LCA shows that we and our partners in the market have the power to bring about this change through commercial decisions.”

Dirk Harbecke
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Mining spodumene, the mineral rock that contains lithium, is a further contributor of emissions. It is currently estimated that mining spodumene contributes 3.8kg to the base case, however some Australian miners are reporting a footprint up to only 1.4kg today. Transporting and shipping spodumene from Australia to Germany, as assumed in the LCA, contributes only 0.7 kg.

The LCA analyzes various categories in addition to carbon emissions. It assesses the „cradle-to-gate“ environmental effect of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate, which will be produced at Rock Tech’s Guben Converter. It is mainly based on primary data from own mass and energy flow sheets. This provides a credible foundation for the data necessary by the impending EU battery standards. With the description of the optimization scenarios, Rock Tech is already ahead of legislation and on pace with the automobile industry’s objectives to achieve carbon neutrality.

Rock Tech’s ambitions towards a zero-waste scenario wasn’t reflected because the exact quantification of its influence could not yet be determined clearly. Nonetheless, the focused use of by-products remains a strategic objective that has the potential to save much more emissions.

Please note that this is an article that summarizes and simplifies scientific information. For more information rely on the official press release.