Geothermal lithium extraction pilot plant set up in Germany

Geothermal lithium extraction pilot plant set up in Germany Drawings of planned geothermal-lithium production plant (source: Vulcan Energy Resources)
Alexander Richter 12 Apr 2021

Vulcan Energy Resources has started operation of its own DLE Pilot Plant extracting Lithium from geothermal brine on site in the Upper Rhine Valley in Germany.

In a release shared this morning, Vulcan Energy Resources (Vulcan) reports having designed, built, commissioned, and now operating a direct lithium extraction (DLE) Pilot Plant to demonstrate lithium extraction from live geothermal brine. The plant is situated in the Upper Rhine Valley area of Germany.

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 (TM) 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.”

Source: Company release