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Can’t-miss Houston event: Building a Community-Based Approach to the Energy Transition

A Houston organization is hosting an important breakfast panel on building a community around the energy transition. Photo via Getty Images

Being successful in the energy transition is going to require an all-hands-on-deck approach. A handful of Houston experts are gathering this week to check in on the progress of this mission.

When: Thursday, August 10, from 7:30 to 8:00 a.m.

Where: Junior League of Houston, 1811 Briar Oaks Lane

Price: Tickets are $25 and include breakfast

Who: The greater Houston energy community.

Learn more and register.

The Center for Houston's Future is hosting its annual Summer Salon breakfast programming this week. The event will feature an important conversation related to community engagement and the energy transition, issues that are critical to our region’s future.

The morning program will feature a conversation entitled "Building a Community-Based Approach to the Energy Transition," as well as a keynote from Brad Townsend, vice president of Policy and Outreach at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, one of the world’s leading environmental policy think tanks. Townsend will unveil conclusions on community engagement in the energy transition from a recent stakeholder roundtable held with Center for Houston's Future.

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A View From HETI

The plant, expected to go online later this year, will process brine produced from lithium-containing waste-magnesium salts. Photo via ibatterymetals.com

Houston-based International Battery Metals, whose technology offers an eco-friendly way to extract lithium compounds from brine, is installing what it’s billing as the world’s first commercial modular direct-lithium extraction plant.

The mobile facility is located at US Magnesium’s operations outside Salt Lake City. The plant, expected to go online later this year, will process brine produced from lithium-containing waste-magnesium salts. The resulting lithium chloride product will provide feedstock for high-purity lithium carbonate generated by US Magnesium.

Under its agreement with US Magnesium, International Battery Metals (IBAT) will receive royalties on lithium sales, as well as payments for equipment operations based on lithium prices and performance.

IBAT says its patented technology is the only system that delivers a 97 percent extraction rate for lithium chloride from brine water, with up to 98 percent of water recycled and with minimal use of chemicals.

“Commercial operations will serve growing lithium demand from automakers for electric vehicle batteries, as well as energy storage batteries to support growing electricity demand and to balance the grid from increased renewable energy integration,” IBAT says in a news release.

Initially, the less than three-acre plant will annually produce 5,000 metric tons of lithium chloride. The modular plant was fabricated in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

“Our commercial operations with US Mag will advance a productive lithium extraction operation,” says Garry Flowers, CEO of IBAT. “Given current lithium demand, supply dependence on China, and permitting challenges, our expected commercial operations are coming at an ideal time to produce lithium at scale in the U.S.”

IBAT says the technology has been validated by independent reviewers and has been tested in Texas, California, Michigan, Ohio, and Oklahoma, as well as Argentina, Canada, Chile, and Germany.

IBAT says its modular concept positions the company to be a key supplier for rising U.S. lithium demand, providing an alternative to China and other global suppliers.

John Burba, founder, CTO and director of IBAT, says the modular extraction technology “will be the basis of future lithium extraction from brine resources around the world.”

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