Vulcan has opened its new laboratory in Karlsruhe-Durlach, Germany, as we extend the analytical capability and expertise of our lithium division. Dr Horst Kreuter, CEO Vulcan Energy (Germany), hosted local representatives at the official opening, including Dr. Frank Mentrup, Mayor of the City of Karlsruhe, Jochen Ehlgötz, Managing Director of TechnologieRegion Karlsruhe GmbH and Waldemar Epple, CEO of AEN (Automotive Engineering Network).
“The opening of the new laboratory site is a significant milestone for our Zero Carbon Lithium™ project. With the state-of-the-art equipment, including full in-house ICP and IC analytical capability, we are expanding our core competencies and bringing our proprietary lithium processes into this central laboratory. This allows for further optimisation as we target phase one production in 2024,” said Dr. Kreuter.
Vulcan’s lithium division is led by Dr. Stephen Harrison, Chief Technical Officer, with Dr. Angela Digennaro overseeing the laboratory team. Dr Digennaro leads six experts focused on refining the processing of Vulcan’s lithium product with zero carbon footprint. They will use the expanded laboratory to deepen their understanding of the lithium processing and to optimise the process in order to inform the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS). Their work is supported by Dr. Thomas Aicher, who manages the pilot plant team.
We have built strong relationships with many in the region, including the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology which provides external advice to the laboratory.
Dr Frank Mentrup, Lord Mayor of Karlsruhe said, “Knowing that another young, innovative company from our ranks is on course for growth, underlines the potential of our city. I’m proud that people from here have found a solution which strengthens the economic security of our region.”
Our team continues to successfully demonstrate multi-cycle sorption tests on Upper Rhine Valley geothermal brine using multiple commercially available aluminate-based sorbents, including from our partners such as DuPont. All sorbents have demonstrated >90% lithium recovery, in line with the assumptions used in the Pre-Feasbility Study.
Offsite lithium electrolysis test work is also ongoing. Following the signing of our collaboration agreement in January 2022, we are working closely with Nobian to build and operate our electrolysis demo plant at the Frankfurt site in the second half of the year.
Led by Vulcan’s in-house team and supported Hatch Ltd, the Lithium Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) is due to be finalised in the second half of 2022.
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