Vulcan Energie Ressourcen has been appointed as one of the five outstanding finalists of the Ruggero Bertani European Geothermal Innovation Awards 2020.
Lithium is currently produced in open pit and underground mines or from salt flats in South America. The environmental impact is huge in terms of carbon footprint, land use and water consumption.
Vulcan’s concept is different, as the environmental impact should be minimal. Deep geothermal reservoirs are widespread in the Upper Rhine Graben area. The geothermal brines in these reservoirs contain a large amount of lithium.
Vulcan’s idea is to extract the lithium from the brine using direct lithium extraction. The lithium will be extracted after the energy of the brine has been used for power and heating production. The energy needed for the extraction is generated directly in the geothermal plant. So the lithium can be produced with zero carbon emissions.
The Direct Lithium Extraction will be implemented in the pilot project based on the requirements of the geothermal brine and to avoid environmental hazards and damages to the brine cycle by scaling or corrosion. But further research must be done to understand the mechanisms in the geothermal reservoirs when the lithium is extracted.
The winner of this year edition will be announced on 5th March at the GeoTHERM Expo & Congress in Offenburg (Germany).
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