BATON ROUGE, La., April 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) a global developer, manufacturer and marketer of highly engineered specialty chemistry, announced today that it has developed a proprietary technology for lithium extraction from brine.
This newly developed technology will allow the company to recover lithium that is present in the brines at its Magnolia, Arkansas bromine facility and utilize it to produce lithium carbonate. The market for lithium chemicals is expected to grow rapidly, reaching $1.2 billion globally by 2015, primarily from increased demand for batteries in electrical vehicles. Using this new technology and brine from its bromine production facility, Albemarle has successfully produced lithium carbonate in a lab setting and is currently operating a pilot plant to optimize the process. Commercial production could begin as early as 2013.
"Albemarle has extensive experience in brine management and recovery of products from brine," said Dave Clary, Albemarle's Chief Sustainability Officer. "Our lithium recovery technology is an extension of our technological know-how into a very attractive end market."
"Over 70% of the U.S. demand for lithium is currently met by imports," said Sharon McGee, VP Performance Chemicals Division. "There is certainly a need for more domestic production with the growing market demand and Albemarle is encouraged that we will be able to meet that need."
Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a leading global developer, manufacturer, and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals for consumer electronics, petroleum refining, utilities, packaging, construction, automotive/transportation, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food-safety and custom chemistry services. The Company is committed to global sustainability and is advancing its eco-practices and solutions in its three business segments, Polymer Solutions, Catalysts and Fine Chemistry. Corporate Responsibility Magazine selected Albemarle to its prestigious "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list for 2010 and 2011. Albemarle employs approximately 4,000 people and serves customers in approximately 100 countries. Albemarle regularly posts information to www.albemarle.com, including notification of events, news, financial performance, investor presentations and webcasts, Regulation G reconciliations, SEC filings, and other information regarding the Company, its businesses and the markets we serve.
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Albemarle Corporation's business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K.