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Business

California Gets Lithium Carbonate

by Melody M. Bomgardner
October 3, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 40

Simbol Materials has begun operations at a 500-metric-ton-per-year high-purity lithium carbonate facility near the Salton Sea in California’s Imperial Valley. The venture-capital-backed company plans to sell the lithium carbonate to the lithium-ion battery industry, where it is used in cathodes and in LiPF6 for electrolytes. The firm plans to break ground on a threefold expansion of the facility in 2012. Simbol extracts the materials from brines that are a by-product of geothermal power generation.

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