Vulcan Energy Resources, Perth, Australia, has designed, built, commissioned, and is now operating a DLE Pilot Plant in Germany to demonstrate lithium extraction from live geothermal brine. The team is focused on demonstrating pre-treatment and DLE processes, as well the durability of the process over hundreds of cycles, which will feed into its Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).
Vulcan will use the data from the Pilot Plant to inform and finalise design of a larger, Demonstration Plant, which will also contribute information towards the DFS. Vulcan’s technology partners and internal experts have indicated that key process operations will scale up to commercial scale with minimal risk from the Demonstration scale.
Managing Director, Dr. Francis Wedin, commented: “Getting our Pilot Plant up and running on live geothermal brine is a significant milestone for Vulcan. This has already started producing crucial data needed for de-risking the lithium extraction process. It took less than 6 months to design, build, and commission the Pilot Plant. This aggressive timeline was enabled by the project’s world-class technology partners and location in Germany, where access to chemical engineering expertise is unparalleled.”
“This is a critical step towards our strategy of producing lithium hydroxide, using our unique Zero Carbon Lithium™ process, for the European battery electric vehicle market, and building a combined renewable energy and chemicals business. We look forward to keeping our shareholders informed as we progress our efforts.”
Vulcan Energy Resources is aiming to become the world’s first Zero Carbon Lithium™ producer, by producing a battery-quality lithium hydroxide chemical product with net zero carbon footprint from its combined geothermal and lithium resource, which is Europe’s largest lithium resource, in the Upper Rhine Valley of Germany. Vulcan will use its unique, net zero carbon process to produce both renewable geothermal energy, and lithium hydroxide, from the same deep brine source. In doing so, Vulcan will address lithium’s EU market requirements by reducing the high carbon and water footprint of production, and total reliance on imports, mostly from China. Vulcan aims to supply the lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle market in Europe, which is the fastest growing in the world. Vulcan has a resource which can satisfy Europe’s needs for the electric vehicle transition, from a zero-carbon source, for many years to come.