Zero Carbon Lithium™
We exist to decarbonise the carbon production footprint of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles by producing a world-first lithium hydroxide monohydrate chemical product with carbon neutral footprint, from our geothermal lithium brine project in the Upper Rhine Valley, Germany.
Lithium chemicals are a critical feedstock for manufacturing the batteries in electric vehicles. To fully electrify our cars with lithium-ion batteries, we need a lot of lithium.
The current main pathway for producing and refining lithium, from hard-rock mines, would emit approximately 1.05 billion tonnes of CO2 to produce the quantity of lithium required to electrify all the world’s passenger vehicles, if the industry went down this path.
Unlike current lithium extraction projects, our Zero Carbon Lithium™ business will incur virtually zero disruption to communities or the environment. This means no large open pit mines, no large, unsightly and water-hungry evaporation ponds, or process plants running on fossil fuels.
See the difference below.
Hard Rock Mining
Open pit hard rock mines for lithium scar the landscape. Once you mine it, the rock has to be roasted with fossil fuels to produce lithium hydroxide. This is very CO2-intensive.
*One tonne of lithium hydroxide produced through hard rock mining requires approximately:
Lithium extraction from brines in South America evaporates large quantities of water in the second driest place on earth. This stresses the environment and local indigenous communities.
*One tonne of lithium hydroxide produced through evaporation ponds requires:
Zero Carbon Lithium™
Draws on naturally occurring, renewable geothermal energy to power the lithium extraction process and create a renewable energy by-product. This uses no fossil fuels, requires very little water and has a tiny land footprint.
*One tonne of lithium hydroxide produced through our process requires:
VULCAN’S RENEWABLE ENERGY & Zero Carbon Lithium™ PROJECT
Through wells into the deep sub-surface, hot, lithium-rich brine from our project area is pumped to the surface.
- We will use renewable heat derived from our geothermal brine to drive the lithium extraction process, with no fossil fuel consumption.
- We will produce a surplus of renewable energy, decarbonising the grid.
- We will produce a unique, premium, battery-quality hydroxide product for EVs, carbon neutral footprint.
- The spent brine then gets re-injected in a closed-loop cycle.
The EU has set the challenge to industry to decarbonise the production of batteries and EVs, including raw materials. Vulcan is proud to be a first mover and peerless leader in meeting this challenge with our Zero Carbon Lithium™ business.