Battery-grade lithium hydroxide producer Mangrove Lithium has closed a $10 million Series A investment round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV). The fund will be used to build its first operational, commercial-scale plant to expand lithium refining capacity. The round saw participation from existing investor BDC Capital’s Cleantech Practice (BDC).
The company claims it has developed a feedstock-flexible, modular platform to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate. It produces the two compounds from brines, hard-rock, clays, and battery recycling streams.
Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecasts a global supply gap of 4.3 million tons of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide by 2040. The supply of high-purity, battery-grade lithium will be critical to the rapid adoption of electric vehicles (EV).
According to Saad Dara, CEO, Mangrove, a sufficient supply of high-purity lithium is critical if the world has to reach over 70% EV penetration by 2040. “There is a strong risk of this ambition being derailed if the emerging supply deficit is not addressed today.”
“Transitioning to EVs is a critical step in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Mangrove’s technology solves a huge constraint in electrifying the world’s vehicle fleet by enabling the lowest-cost, highest-purity lithium hydroxide – at a scale of hundreds of millions of vehicles – and can be applied throughout the supply chain,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
Mangrove’s technology unlocks new assets and turns resources into reserves by enabling greater project bankability. The company’s initial focus is on lithium brines that represent 60% of global deposits. Mangrove’s innovation supposedly eliminates complex steps in the conventional refining processes for lithium brines.
In addition to eliminating capital expenditure associated with conventional lithium refining methods, Mangrove claims its technology can reduce operational expenditure by as much as 40% in lithium hydroxide production from brines.
Mangrove’s platform can integrate with upstream lithium producers, vertically integrate lithium refining alongside battery manufacturing, or act as a versatile independent refinery. The company intends to work with different companies throughout the lithium and battery supply chains to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate at a commercial scale to meet growing demand.
Yotta Energy, a U.S.-based energy storage solution provider, had raised $13 million in a Series A funding round. The company will utilize the fresh funding to expand product deployment in the U.S. and Latin America, grow its workforce, and increase power generation revenue from commercial flat-roof buildings.
In the first nine months of 2021, battery storage companies globally raised $5.5 billion in 59 deals a 400% increase compared to $1.2 billion in 21 deals in 9M 2020. Of this, $4 billion in 17 deals went to lithium-based battery companies.