U.S. to announce funding for lithium extraction technologies from geothermal brine
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the intent to provide funding for technologies that facilitate lithium extraction and validation from geothermal brines.
The U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE) thru the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has announced the intent to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled “Lithium Extraction & Conversion from Geothermal Brines.”
This will be a joint FOA issued by the EERE on behalf of the Advanced Manufacturing Office and Geothermal Technologies Office. The funding opportunity is expected to include approximately USD 12 million in federal funding. The estimated period of performance of the award will be three years. The EERE plans to issue the FOA via EERE Exchange in the fall of 2022.
It is expected that this FOA may include the following Areas of Interest:
- Field Validation of Lithium Hydroxide Production from Geothermal Brines
- Applied Research and Development for Direct Lithium Extraction from Geothermal Brines
Through this FOA, EERE seeks to address gaps in domestic supply chains for lithium batteries for electric vehicles and stationary storage. The U.S. currently has limited production of lithium from domestic sources and also lacks domestic capabilities to refine materials needed to support component manufacturing – including lithium hydroxide needed for lithium battery cathode production.
Geothermal brines have proven to be a sustainable resource of critical materials including lithium. Direct lithium extraction from geothermal brines represents an opportunity to produce lithium hydroxide from domestic sources in a safe and environmentally friendly way.
The goals of this FOA are to:
- Enable environmentally and socially responsible domestic manufacturing of battery-grade (i.e., high purity) lithium hydroxide from geothermal brines;
- Diversify the domestic supply of lithium hydroxide;
- Validate and demonstrate domestic pilot plants and related technologies to support the transition to U.S. manufacturing; and
- Mature nascent technologies, processes, and methods to improve treatment of direct lithium extraction influent and effluent streams.
The DOE is currently compiling a “teaming” partner list to facilitate participation in the FOA. This list will allow organizations with expertise in the topics to express their interest to potential applicants and explore potential partnerships. Organizations who wish to be included in the teaming partner list are encouraged to send an email with the relevant information to AMO-GTO-LithiumFOA@ee.doe.gov.
More information on the future funding opportunity are available in the Notice of Intent document.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy