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Letter from the Founder

"In the quest to produce a single ton of battery-grade Lithium Hydroxide, it is not uncommon for a Grey Refinery to consume 5 tons of reagent, and generate up to 14 tons of waste and CO2 emissions. By contrast, our Green+ Refinery requires no reagents, generates virtually zero carbon emissions or waste, and offers unmatched financial performance."

- Peter Ehren

Photo_Peter Ehren2.jpg
CTO & Co-Founder

My name is Peter Ehren, and I have been serving the Lithium Industry for more than 25 years. My interest in lithium started during my Master’s program at the Technical University of Delft. For my Master's Thesis, I investigated lithium recovery using Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) from geothermal brines at BHP Minerals’ site at the Salton Sea. Following my Master’s program, I started my career as a Process Engineer at SQM in Chile, then later as R&D Manger until 2007.

​Following SQM, my partner, Macarena G. Prieto and I co-founded a new company in 2007 named Process & Environmental Consultancy (PEC). We were singularly focused on solving a range of technological and ESG challenges in the Lithium-, Boron- and Potassium sectors.

​PEC provided us a unique opportunity to visit a majority of the lithium basins and production facilities throughout the world. Over the decades, we developed and implemented successful projects ranging in size from lab-scale to full-scale production. We evaluated many lithium brine and mineral operations, including Salar de Atacama (Chile), Salar Olaroz (Argentina), Cauchari (Argentina), Silver Peak (Nevada), Greenbushes (Australia), and Qinghai Basis (China), to name just a few. We actively participated in projects where extractors employed numerous refining methods to extract lithium from hard-rock, brine and clay.

Conventional Grey Refining suffers from a glaring challenge in its effort to produce battery-grade Lithium chemicals used in Electric Vehicles (EV's): the process consumes vast quantities of reagents and energy, and generates mountains of waste and CO2 emissions. In its quest to produce one ton of battery-grade Lithium Hydroxide, it is not uncommon for a Grey Refinery to consume 5 tons of reagent, and generate up to 14 tons of waste and CO2 emissions. While Grey Refining methods allowed the lithium sector to meet the rapid growth of EV's in the 2010's, it is poorly positioned to increase supply 10x over the coming decade without incurring significant costs, financially and ecologically.

We founded Lithium Ark in 2020 to squarely address the environmental pain and financial waste of Grey lithium refining. We offer the Green+ Lithium Refining process which exploits a simple yet powerful reciprocal salt system. The salt system enables ultra low cost processing of battery-grade materials by crystallization, followed by highly efficiency electrolysis. The circular processing eliminates the transport of reagents, and generates virtually zero waste or CO2. Better yet, Green+ Lithium Refining offers unmatched financial performance versus legacy Grey Lithium Refining.

Like many other players in the lithium supply chain, my business partner and I are driven by a strong sense of responsibility to act as good stewards of our environment. We are partnering with other like-minded industry leaders to transition the lithium sector to Greener solutions.

With Green+ Lithium Refining, the industry now has the means to truly de-carbonize and greenify the lithium supply chain. There is no value to waiting.

- Anonymous, 2024
“The combination of Green+ Lithium Refining with Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) is a marriage made in heaven that opens the door to radically transform the lithium supply chain for the next century. Traditional Grey refining pathways are chemically intensive, financially wasteful, and detrimental to the environment. Grey lithium is poised to lose its monopoly over the lithium supply. Board rooms are becoming increasingly responsive to their stakeholders by objectively evaluating Green+ Refining on its ecological merits as well as for its superior financial performance versus conventional refining pathways. Just as millions of horses were inevitably replaced by mechanical horses (cars) in the 1900's, so too shall the lithium sector replace Grey refining with Green+ refining.”  
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