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AGUST 3, 2023



16:00 (UTC-4)

GO Circular

Albermarle is a company that leads the world in transforming essential resources into critical ingredients for mobility, energy, connectivity and health. We partner to pioneer new ways to move, power, connect and protect with people and the planet in mind. We are committed to building a more resilient world. We are one of the largest lithium producers in the world, with a presence in Chile for more than 40 years, and together with Corfo we are pioneers in the development of the lithium industry in the country.  


For us, how we produce lithium is as important as how much we produce and that is why our company is committed to industry best practices and sustainability. We are committed to sustainably producing a key mineral for the technological revolution, which will allow the world to move towards a just energy transition, in dialogue with communities, with respect for the environment and generating social value.  


We are committed to Chile and to the Antofagasta Region. 80% of our more than 1,100 workers are from the Antofagasta region, and in our Salar plant, almost 30% belong to indigenous peoples. We promote local talent, inclusion, diversity and equity. We are developing the New Lithium Era. 


Given the above and in line with its commitment to promote the circular economy and sustainability, Albemarle with te support of Fundación Chile’s Expande, have launched “Go Circular: The New Era of Lithium“, an open innovation call that seeks to promote the development of emerging technologies that allow generating new uses for the by-products of the processing plants. 

About the challenge 

The challenge seeks to promote the technological development of solutions that allow to add value, generate new uses and/or applications to by-products generated in Albemarle’s production process, through a global open innovation call.   


The by-products to be used as raw materials for the proposed solutions are: 


Magnesium salt generated from the Salar de Atacama process. It corresponds to magnesium chloride hexahydrate (MgCl²*6H²O), which according to data provided by Albemarle has a purity of approximately 84%, with an appearance of white crystals. The total production of this compound is 750 Kton per year. 


Sodium chloride generated from the Salar de Atacama process, which according to data provided by Albemarle has a purity of approximately 85% or higher with an appearance of white crystals. Total production is 1,500 Kton per year. 


The Recarb is a cake formed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide. The total waste generated is 55 Kton per year. 

Aqueous halite solution

It corresponds to sodium chloride, water, and other compounds. It is a white or yellowish-white liquid that comes from Planta la Negra.

Fields of the solutions

The field of application of the proposed solutions to address the challenge is OPEN – ended, however, the following are possible applications that are of interest to Albemarle:  

Anti-icing / de-icing

There is a potential market for anti-incing in the northern hemisphere, however, it is a challenge to transport and use bischofite due to its characteristics and chemical structure that tends to absorb water from the moisture in the air. 

Energy storage

There are salts with thermal or chemical storage capacity, so solutions are sought that address the above and that use bischofite and/or halite in some proportion.

Use of salts in copper mining or other industrial processes

Refers to the use of bischofite and/or halite in mining operations or local industries.


Solutions addressing any other field of application either in national or international industry will be accepted for all 4 by-products.

¿What are we looking for?

Through this initiative, Albemarle is looking to:  

  • Identify and evaluate technological solutions that have a potential to develop new markets for the uses and applications of by-products.  
  • Accelerate the time to market of winning solutions. 

¿Who can apply?

Institutions, research centers, startups, universities, companies, or other entities with technological development capabilities that are legally established in accordance with the laws in force in their country of origin.  

Natural persons are excluded in this call.  

We extend the invitation to promote collaboration and complement technological and/or entrepreneurial capabilities between companies, ventures, or other entities. For teams and consortiums, the responsible institution must be clearly identified in the application. 

Application requirements

  • Technological proposals must use one of the described by-products as raw material. The physicochemical characteristics detailed in the description of the by-products must be considered.  
  • Proposals will be valid from an idea stage (TRL 1) to implementation stage (TRL 8).



The winning proposal will receive an award of USD$150,000, while the runner-up will receive an award of USD$50,000. In both cases, the prize must be used in the research project to advance the technological maturity (TRL) of the proposal, either to the experimental stage, validation in a controlled environment, or industrial piloting, as appropriate.


Albemarle leads the world in transforming essential resources into critical ingredients for mobility, energy, connectivity, and health. From our strength in Bromine and Lithium specialties, we partner with customers to pioneer new ways to move, power, connect and protect with people and planet in mind. As a values-driven company, we understand it is no longer enough to build things better, stronger and faster. We have to be cleaner, safer and smarter. Through the world’s most diverse and reliable supply chain, we adapt, manage and utilize our world’s most essential resources to create the greatest value out of every molecule. Because to help lead the way in progressing modern living, we have to also lead the way in safe and responsible operations. 

Expande seeks to promote the development of ecosystems that allow the creation of virtuous circles between the challenges of the natural resources industry and innovative solutions from local and international companies. Under a model of open innovation and associativity, we seek that companies and suppliers capture value for their businesses through the incorporation and implementation of technologies.

Fundación Chile is a public-private organization whose purpose is fostering the transformation of Chile towards sustainable development. For more than 45 years, it has collaboratively created innovative, high-impact solutions for the country, addressing local challenges with a global reach. It has been pioneer enhancing and enabling different productive sectors, such as the aquaculture industry, the agro– industrial sector, the movement towards renewable energies such as solar power, the first venture capital funds in Latin America, among others.