DuPont Water Solutions (DuPont), a leader in water filtration and purification, announced a collaboration with Vulcan Energy Resources, a lithium and renewable energy project developer, to test and scale up Direct Lithium Extraction solutions for Vulcan’s world-first Zero Carbon Lithium® extraction process.
As the world seeks to power everything from smartphones to electric vehicles with clean lithium ion batteries, traditional lithium brine extraction processes have presented environmental challenges—from the heavy use of chemicals to large requirements for water needed elsewhere.
Unlike current extraction processes, the Zero Carbon Lithium® project will demonstrate the world’s first completely carbon neutral lithium extraction process with virtually zero environmental disruption.
Vulcan Energy is developing a Zero Carbon Lithium® process to produce battery-quality lithium hydroxide, along with a renewable geothermal energy by-product, from its deep brine resource in the Upper Rhine Valley of Germany, Europe’s largest lithium resource.
DuPont will leverage its portfolio of Direct Lithium Extraction products and process solutions to assist Vulcan Energy with the Zero Carbon Lithium® project in the Upper Rhine Valley in Germany. As part of the project, DuPont will be developing and testing an Integrated Direct Lithium Extraction Process for Vulcan’s lithium brine that could be leveraged industry wide. DuPont’s multi-technology portfolio of lithium selective sorbent, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, ion exchange resins, ultrafiltration, and close circuit reverse osmosis will be leveraged for the study.
“At DuPont, our goal is to create innovative product and process solutions that help the world thrive—with 100 percent of our products by 2030 directly supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals,” said HP Nanda, global vice president and general manager, DuPont Water Solutions. “We are proud to bring our expertise in water filtration and purification to Vulcan Energy’s Zero Carbon Lithium® project to minimize the carbon and water footprint of lithium extraction and production—to more sustainably power mobility for years to come.”
“Collaborating with a company like DuPont is an important de-risking strategy for the DLE component of our Zero Carbon Lithium® project,” said Dr. Francis Wedin, Managing Director of Vulcan. “DuPont’s diverse set of products, which can be manufactured at scale, are likely to be well-suited to sustainably extract the lithium from the brine. We look forward to a successful long-term relationship with DuPont, to implement our strategy of becoming a major supplier of our unique Zero Carbon Lithium® hydroxide to the European electric vehicle battery market.”