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Nickel and cobalt are critical elements vital to key applications, including superalloys in jet engines, lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles, and cemented carbides in industrial machinery.


Westwin Elements Inc. will be America’s major supplier of ethically sourced and sustainably produced high purity nickel and cobalt. For nickel, Westwin will use a carbonyl refining process, and for cobalt, Westwin will use a solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) process. 


Westwin Elements will operate a major critical metals refinery in Lawton–Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Nickel carbonyl refining uses carbon monoxide to react with impure nickel feedstock, which transforms the solid nickel into nickel carbonyl gas that is then decomposed into nickel carbonyl powder. Cobalt SX-EW produces high purity cobalt rounds with solvent extraction concentrating materials in a solution and electrowinning then extracting the targeted elements.


Carbonyl refining produces no polluting waste products, using hermetically sealed chambers and recycling the gas inputs. Notably, Westwin’s preferred carbonyl refining method requires minimal modifications to extract nickel, cobalt, and iron from shredded electric vehicle batteries called black mass.


SX-EW is the most environmentally friendly proven method for commercially refining cobalt. SX-EW has far less environmental impact than the hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical refining methods used in China. Westwin aims for its facilities to have zero environmental impact, reusing and capturing all byproducts. At its site in Lawton-Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Westwin’s refinery complex can source 100 percent renewable energy.


Westwin’s refinery will be built on a 480-acre plot in Lawton, Oklahoma, in a well-developed industrial park with direct access to major transportation links.

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