Novalith Technologies, a lithium extraction and refining company, has secured AU$23 million (~$15.7 million) in Series A funding. Lower carbon Capital led the round with participation from Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), the Grantham Environmental Trusts’ Neglected Climate Opportunities Fund, TDK Ventures, and Investible.

The company plans to use the Series A funding to scale up and commercialize its LiCAL Technology, including building a new pilot facility in Sydney that will process various lithium resources from around the world and produce lithium carbonate for testing by customers. The company also plans to expand its team, develop strategic partnerships, and explore new applications for its technology.

Novalith’s patented process LiCAL, uses carbonated water instead of acid to extract lithium directly as battery-grade carbonate. The process also consumes carbon dioxide and produces inert rock as a byproduct, making it carbon-negative and environmentally friendly.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “Australia ranks amongst the largest lithium producers in the world, and it’s clear the world will need more lithium than it has now. Novalith’s ambitious technology is changing lithium production to make it greener and more cost-effective to power the batteries we need for the storage and electric vehicles that are transforming our energy future.”

The company claims that its process can reduce capital and operating costs by up to 50%, increase lithium recovery rates by up to 30%, and enable the use of low-grade and unconventional ore resources that are currently untapped. The process also operates at ambient temperature and pressure, eliminating the need for expensive and hazardous equipment.

Since raising its seed funding round in August 2021, Novalith Technologies has demonstrated the performance of its LiCAL Technology across several different local and global ore resources and established a path to sustainable and carbon-negative lithium production.

According to Mercom’s  Q1 2023 Storage and Smart Funding and M&A Report, VC funding (including private equity and corporate venture capital) raised by Energy Storage companies in Q1 2023 came to $1.1 billion in 19 deals, an 8% decrease year-over-year (YoY) compared to $1.2 billion in 22 deals in Q1 2022.