DOE Awards $10.9M To Projects Expanding Domestic Lithium Extraction


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.