Lithium hydroxide supply chain Importance of Lithium.

The Upper Rhine Valley hosts the largest lithium deposit in Europe and one of the largest in the world, only waiting to be tapped.

Critical raw material for EV transition Lithium.

Lithium is the most crucial metal used in car batteries and the European Union targets all new cars to be zero emission by 2035 meaning by 2030, Europe alone will require more than one million tonnes of lithium for electric vehicles. Legacy methods of lithium production place a significant strain on the environment. Depending on the process, the CO₂ footprint and water consumption are substantial. We need to make lithium production more sustainable.

EV charging power

Lithium production with Legacy methods.

Why we need environmentally friendly and carbon neutral lithium production

Legacy methods of lithium extraction are labour intensive, use large areas of land and water and emit more CO₂ than recently adopted extraction methods. Depending on the process, the CO₂ footprint and water consumption are significant. The large amount of land required is also a burden on the environment and raises social issues in the mining countries. Unlike traditional lithium mining, Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project does not use fossil fuels in the lithium production and processing exercise and is environmentally, as well as socially responsible due to very low water consumption and land use.

mine used for hardrock mining

Extraction from hard rock.

Whilst multiple companies are attempting to decarbonise the supply chain, hard rock mining lithium minerals is currently a high energy process. The minerals are usually mined at around 1% Li2O, meaning that 99% of the mined material is waste. The ore is concentrated to around 5-6% Li2O, before being transported long distances to refineries which are usually in China. This means that around 94-95% of the shipped material is usually waste. The refinery uses a roasting process, which uses large amounts of fossil fuels to produce lithium hydroxide.
evaporation ponds in the desert

Use of evaporation ponds.

Lithium extraction has traditionally been associated with high carbon footprint when extracted from hard rock sources, and high water footprint when extracted from brines. Lithium extraction from brines evaporates large quantities of water in some of the driest places on earth. It also has a significant CO₂ footprint, through large use of chemical reagents.​

Policy tailwinds in Vulcan’s favour with CRMA and NZIA

The released Critical Raw Materials and Net Zero Industry Acts present a strong focus on fast-tracking the permitting process and funding for technologies of relevance to the strategic autonomy of the European Union economy.

flag of the EU

Unprecedented demand Sustainability is our purpose.

Sustainability is the cornerstone upon which Vulcan was founded. Proudly disruptive, Vulcan’s diverse team comes from all over the globe, united by a passion for environmentalism and science. It is our purpose to empower a net zero carbon future.