The U.S. Department of Energy will award $10.9 million to ten projects across nine states for advancing technologies to extract battery-grade lithium from geothermal brine sources. Direct lithium extraction from geothermal brines represents an opportunity for domestic production of lithium for batteries. These would contribute to both battery-electric vehicles and other projects.
The 10 projects were selected from two Topic Areas:
- Field Validation of Lithium Hydroxide Production from Geothermal Brines: Pilot or demonstration projects to validate cost-effective, innovative lithium extraction and lithium hydroxide conversion technologies.
- Applied Research & Development for Direct Lithium Extraction from Geothermal Brines: Research and development projects to advance emerging direct lithium extraction process technologies to increase efficiency, reduce waste generation, and/or reduce cost.
Two projects received most of the funding. $5 million to Energy Exploration Technologies and $1.8 million to ExSorbtion. The two projects aim to find solutions for specific geothermal needs. Other projects were research aims towards similar goals.
The DOE investment is part of a larger program under the Lithium RD&D Virtual Center. This center coordinates investment activity across industry, government, and academia.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.