EnergyX raises $20mn for direct lithium extraction tech
Energy Exploration Technologies (EnergyX) has announced that earlier this year it secured commitments of $20mn in financing, ensuring the company as a world leader in direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology
Based in the US, EnergyX is a technology company focused on delivering the latest scientific innovations in sustainable lithium extraction methods and solid-state battery energy storage systems. This funding also makes EnergyX the highest values DLE tech company onthe market
Lithium, a metallic component integral to the batteries found within electric vehicles and personal electronics, is set to be a major factor in the global transition to a sustainable energy future. In 2020, EnergyX announced a pilot partnership with Orocobre to deliver high-quality and comprehensive that will support cleaner, more efficient energy extraction. Last, month, Orocobre announced a multi-billion dollar with Galaxy Resources to create a lithium giant with the potential to become the third largest producer in the world. EnergyX and Orocobre plan to deploy their pilots in the near future.
Being the lightest metal on the periodic table, lithium's inherent properties make it an efficient, high-capacity strorage medium for energy systems that provide electromobility and the intermittency of renewable energy. Rising global demand for EVs and economic energy storage systems has led to projections showing an order-of-magnitude increase in lithium demand. In 2020 global supply was roughly 315k tons; this is expected to rise to 5.5 millions by 2040. EnergyX has identified how to improve lithium extraction methods while lessening the environmental impact of mining.
EnergyX, along with its new partners and strategic investors including Obsidian Acquisition Partners, Helios Capital, and the University of Texas, hope to build a string platform for industry, academia and natural resource management to work together.
Kris Haber, Director of Obsidian, commented: "We are pleased to invest in EnergyX at this critical time. Some in the EV industry have likened lithium to the early days of oil exploration. EnergyX has developed a technology for lithium extraction whose potential economic impact on the industry is simlar to fracking on terms of efficiency and cost savings, yet limiting environmental impact and global carbon footprint."
EnergyX CEO Teague Egan commented: "EnergyX has been diligently working towards creating a cleaner lithium space in conjunction with other global leaders. We are all very excited to continue that focus with the additional support through this Series A funding. There is a majoroncoming shift across the entire battery metals supply chain including mining and materials, anode/cathode, and cell assembly. EnergyX plans to be at the epicentre for decades to come."
Ericsson Private 5G to transform secure on-site connectivity
Ericsson has launched Ericsson Private 5G. It offers secure and simple 4G LTE and 5G Standalone (SA) connectivity primarily targeting manufacturing, mining and process industries, offshore and power utilities, as well as ports and airports.
Ericsson Private 5G optimizes and simplifies business operations with cloud-based network management, keeps sensitive data on-premise, has zero downtime upgrades and guarantees high performance through Service-Level Agreements (SLAs).
It is easily installed within hours at any facility and can be scaled to support larger coverage areas, more devices and higher capacity when needed. The product is designed to be flexible and will support a range of deployment sizes, depending on requirements, to suit varied needs. Businesses can manage their networks and integrate with IT/OT systems via an open API.
Ericsson Private 5G builds upon Ericsson’s 4G/5G radio and dual mode core technology, enabling a wide variety of use cases for both indoor and outdoor environments while integrating well with business operations, devices and applications. As a result, companies can improve productivity, give their customers more value and provide better working environments for employees.
Innovative use cases include tracking assets and real-time automation to improve productivity in warehouses, and a digital twin that can help to optimize manufacturing operations. Efficient quality inspections can also be performed via augmented reality or smart surveillance drones to increase worker safety, particularly in potentially hazardous environments such as ports and mines.
Ericsson already has a significant track record of operational 4G and 5G private network deployments with customers worldwide. Ericsson Private 5G builds on the success of that solution portfolio and deployment insights, as well as insights from projects such as 5G-Industry Campus Europe.
Peter Burman, Program Manager Mine Automation, at Swedish mining company Boliden, commented: “Automation, and safety through automation in our mining operations is an absolute must for us. Ericsson Private 5G is exactly what Boliden needs to bring high quality, fast and secure connectivity into potentially hazardous environments allowing us to mobilize efficiency and safety improving use cases.
Niels König, Coordinator 5G-Industry Campus Europe, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT added: “Private 5G networks are highly attractive for producing companies because of the uncompromised performance that 5G can bring, allowing them to tackle the challenges of production. Efficiently deploying and using network solutions in enterprises requires simplicity in installation, flexibility in connecting to existing production IT and lean operations while at the same time being able to scale the network to meet future challenges. Ericsson Private 5G delivers exactly these capabilities.”
Leo Gergs, Senior Analyst, ABI Research, noted: “With this new offering, Ericsson will be able to address key trends in the enterprise cellular market. The value proposition will appeal to operators and service providers as the solution hides technology complexity and therefore reduces the barrier of entry to deployment for many different flavors of enterprise networks.”
Thomas Noren, Head of Dedicated Networks, Business Area Technologies and New Businesses, Ericsson, revealed: “With Ericsson Private 5G, we take the best of Ericsson’s current portfolio and top it up with the best of our new technology. We do this to give businesses what they need to improve productivity, enable new offerings and give employees a better working environment. With Ericsson Private 5G, we also give operators a better way to serve business customers and leverage their assets - in short, to grow beyond mobile broadband.”
Ericsson recently joined a three-year initiative to develop autonomous, carbon-neutral mining processes supported by 5G connectivity. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, the $16mn Next-Generation Carbon-Neutral Pilots for Smart Intelligent Mining Systems (NEXGEN SIMS) project is being coordinated by Swedish mining and infrastructure equipment manufacturer, Epiroc, in cooperation with a range of industry-diverse partners, including: Ericsson, K+S, Boliden, Agnico Eagle Finland, KGHM Polska and Luleå University of Technology.