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The company will also deploy CCS technology to reduce emissions.

By Maureen McCall

Emerging Canadian lithium developer E3 Metals said on January 21 it was considering powering its Clearwater lithium extraction project in Alberta with natural gas, and using carbon capture and storage (CCS) to abate its emissions.

Demand for lithium has soared in recent years as it is used to produce batteries for the growing global fleet of electric vehicles. But processes in the lithium industry can be energy-intensive, making them hard to decarbonise. 

E3 plans to extract high-grade lithium from saline formation water in Alberta, using the region's abundant gas supply as an energy source. The lithium hydroxide that is produced can be carbon neutral by deploying CCS technology, the company said.

The Alberta government is looking at issuing carbon sequestration rights through a contest, to enable the development of carbon storage hubs that can be used by industrial clients such as E3.

"E3 Metals is excited to see the province of Alberta work with industry to provide options for decarbonising its grid," said E3 Metals CEO Chris Doornbos. "As E3 Metals is looking at developing its own power sources, these hubs could provide an opportunity for the company to permanently sequester any CO2 generated. This carbon sequestration hub initiative happening now in Alberta should enable a tangible option for E3 Metals to meet its goal of producing a carbon-neutral lithium product."

On January 19 Enhance Energy, a carbon management company, announced its Origins Project, a proposed carbon sequestration hub located near one of E3 Metals' project areas.