THE STURTEVANT / KOMAREK DIFFERENCE

The drying of lithium carbonate produces excess fines. A Sturtevant SuperFine Air Classifier can successfully remove 30-40% of the lithium carbonate powder as battery grade product prior to milling. Therefore, only 60-70% of the lithium carbonate feed needs to be compacted and milled due to pre-classifying. As a result, a smaller sized compactor and mill are needed due to the reduced capacity requirements.

Sturtevant & Komarek developed a better way to process lithium that saves capital and operational expenses by eliminating ancillary equipment and reduces energy consumption by 50%.

The new process saves CAPEX and OPEX and involves classifying, compacting and milling the lithium carbonate in the following 3 steps.

STEP 1: PRE CLASSIFYING LITHIUM CARBONATE

Remove 30-40% of battery-grade fines before milling with the SuperFine Air Classifier. It takes less energy to air classify and separate the lithium than it does to reduce it in size. Excess fines reduce the mills size reduction efficiency which penalizes capacity and increases energy consumption.

The SuperFine’s advantage is the high degree of accuracy in the separation of lithium particles from 3 to 45 microns with very tight particle size distribution and throughputs up to 30,000 lbs. per hour.

  • Precise ultra-fine particle size separation with high removal efficiency
  • Variable speed for quick adjusting fineness control
  • Low maintenance, easy access for cleaning
  • Ceramic liner options for wear and contamination protection
  • Compact space saving design
  • Easily disassembled for cleaning and servicing

STEP 2: BRIQUETTING COMPACTING LITHIUM CARBONATE

After classifying only 60-70% of the lithium feed needs to be compacted and milled. The next step in the process is densifying the lithium carbonate to increase capacity ideal for the Komarek Roll Compactor. By compacting the powder into tablets with the roll compactor prior to muilling, the collision forces from the denser particles fracture more easily improving efficiency.

The Komarek BH400CH Roll Compactor is a rugged and very versatile machine capable of processing lithium powders with the throughput up to 15 t/h under the compaction pressure range 50 to 350 MPa.

  • Simple, cost effective, compact design
  • Separation of the process zone from the mechanical area of the equipment
  • Special feed system design which can be easily modify to fit specific various lithium powder properties

STEP 3: MILLING LITHIUM CARBONATE

The final step is milling and micronizing. The Sturtevant FCM Air Classifier Mill or the Micronizer Jet Mill are perfect solutions depending how fine you want your battery grade lithium carbonate.

Mill lithium carbonate down to low micron sizes with the FCM Air Classifying Mill. The FCM is an air classifying impact mill with an integrated classifier that can achieve a wide range of size reduction objectives between 150 microns and 10 microns. It excels in the particle size reduction of lithium due its reliability and precision. The FCM can mill lithium carbonate powders with the particle size distribution of d90 = 10-12 microns and d50 = 4-5 microns.

  • Easily adjustable particle size distribution for efficient milling
  • Combines impact milling and air classification technologies
  • Air swept design prevents heat build up
  • Pressure Shock Resistant designs available
  • Low operational and maintenance cost
  • Easily disassembled for cleaning and servicing

The result of pre-classifying, compacting and milling lithium carbonate is the reduction of ancillary equipment, reduction of energy consumption by 50% for savings in capital and operational costs.