“Lithium ion batteries have changed our everyday life in the last 25 years and there is the expectation that advanced lithium batteries will enable electric vehicles and remote electrification based on solar panels. We need a large scale and low environmental impact alternative.” - E. Calvo
Developing break-through technology around batteries and energy storage is recognized as one of the key elements that will drive the transition to 100% renewable energy. Lithium is used in almost all the batteries around the world, however, its extraction has a very negative impact on the environment. Currently lithium mining is a resource intensive and dangerous process. According to the Guardian, even the likes of Tesla can’t claim to be eco-friendly as long as the negative impact of lithium extraction is not reduced.
Inquimae has created a new way of extracting lithium that is powered by solar energy and is quicker and cleaner than any existing technology. With lithium-ion batteries being used in a wide range of technologies from transport to mobile devices, the solution by Inquimae could have far reaching impacts on industries around the world.
The project team is under the direction of Prof. Ernesto J. Calvo at INQUIMAE and Buenos Aires University working in cooperation with Dr. Victoria Flexer at CIT-Jujuy and University of Jujuy with a research team funded by the Argentine National Science and Technology Research Council (CONICET). Prof. Calvo is a specialist in electrochemistry with more than 160 publications. He has a PhD in Chemistry (University of La Plata, Argentina 1979). He started research in lithium electrochemistry in 2012.