Lithium Australia goes bush to test recycled battery fertiliser

25/05/2020 - 20:36

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After a successful round of greenhouse tests, Lithium Australia is set to undertake field trials for its spent alkaline battery waste fertiliser product near Kojonup in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt. It is aiming to deliver recycled manganese and zinc as micro-nutrient supplements to WA’s broad acre pastoralists in a region that produces around 14 million tonnes of grain annually.

After a successful round of greenhouse tests, Lithium Australia is set to undertake field trials for its spent alkaline battery waste fertiliser product near Kojonup in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt.  It is aiming to deliver recycled manganese and zinc as micro-nutrient supplements to WA’s broad acre pastoralists in a region that produces around 14 million tonnes of grain annually in support of Australia’s export economy.

The ASX-listed Lithium Australia is committed to a “circular” battery economy and its recycling division, Envirostream Australia has developed a zinc and manganese-based micro-nutrient supplement from spent waste gleaned from old batteries for use as fertiliser.

The Perth-based company said that Envirostream’s initial greenhouse tests show potential as a source of micro-nutrients, giving its management team the inspiration to step up to a full-scale field trial in the paddocks near Kojonup.

Management said that a site has been selected that has soils with low pH and a deficiency in zinc, manganese and phosphate, an environment that is considered ideal for treatment with the product developed by Envirostream.

The product is currently being blended with major-element fertilisers in preparation for this year’s wheat seeding activity, due to commence in the next two weeks.

Lithium Australia said that Envirostream plans to conduct additional field trials in jurisdictions outside Australia. To that end, it is seeking partners willing to explore and possibly enhance the efficacy of this proposed repurposing of battery waste.

Lithium Australia Managing Director and Envirostream director, Adrian Griffin said: “Globally, the disposal of alkaline batteries has become a major problem. Our plan for repurposing the active components of the spent cells is not only a significant step towards worldwide environmental management of the issue but could also have a powerful influence on the sustainability of disposable batteries. As such, it is an integral part of Lithium Australia’s quest to develop a circular economy for all battery types – which is certainly something society requires.”

 

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