Open pit hard rock mines for lithium scar the landscape. Once you mine it, the rock has to be roasted with fossil fuels to produce lithium hydroxide. This is very CO2-intensive.
*One tonne of lithium hydroxide produced through hard rock mining requires approximately:
Lithium extraction from brines in South America evaporates large quantities of water in the second driest place on earth. This stresses the environment and local indigenous communities.
*One tonne of lithium hydroxide produced through evaporation ponds requires:
Draws on naturally occurring, renewable geothermal energy to power the lithium extraction process and create a renewable energy by-product. This uses no fossil fuels, requires very little water and has a tiny land footprint.
*One tonne of lithium hydroxide produced through our process requires:
Through wells into the deep sub-surface, hot, lithium-rich brine from our project area is pumped to the surface.
- We will use renewable heat derived from our geothermal brine to drive the lithium extraction process, with no fossil fuel consumption.
- We will produce a surplus of renewable energy, decarbonising the grid.
- We will produce a unique, premium, battery-quality Zero Carbon Lithium™ hydroxide product for EVs.
- The spent brine then gets re-injected in a closed-loop cycle.
1. Hot Brine Extraction
- Hot brine is extracted from the ground and generates steam that powers turbines and produces renewable electricity.
- They are standard geothermal production wells successfully implemented for decades.
2. Direct Lithium Extraction
- We divert the brine flow and extract lithium from the solution with Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) process.
- Commercially used for decades (Argentina and successfully tested in California.
3. Brine Re-injection
- Once the lithium has been extracted, the brine is re-injected in the ground.
- No evaporation losses only takes a few hours, not dependent on weather.
4. Lithium Refining – No Toxic Waste
- Lithium chloride is sent to the lithium refining plant which will use conventional methods to convert LiCl into BG LiOH.
- Water is recycled, no toxic wastes, no gases are emitted, heat power from the geothermal plant, no fossil fuels are burned.
- Expected to have a very low Opex.
We are protecting the intellectual property surrounding Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium™ process in a number of ways:
- German Utility Patent Application
- International Patent Application
- Trademark for Zero Carbon Lithium in multiple global jurisdictions