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Water batteries: Europe has come up with a new way to extract lithium to be independent of China

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun25,2024

Batteries from water: in Europe invented a new way to extract lithium to not depend on China

The new method can become an alternative to the method of extracting lithium that harms the environment environment.

Companies EnBW (Germany) and LevertonHELM (Great Britain) extracted lithium suitable for batteries from geothermal water. Using patented technologies, scientists produced lithium carbonate with a purity of 99.5%, writes the publication Interesting Engineering.

Initially, EnBW extracted lithium chloride solution from the thermal water of the geothermal power plant in Bruchsal, Baden-Württemberg, as part of a joint project using direct lithium extraction (DLE). LevertonHELM then developed and refined this solution at their facilities in Basingstoke, UK. The high-quality lithium salt obtained as a result of this process turned out to be suitable for the production of cathode materials. Laura Herrmann, head of research at EnBW, notes that the water produced at the Bruchsal geothermal power plant, which contains extremely high levels of lithium, opens up the possibility of regional extraction of this valuable metal.

The companies agreed to continue developing the technology and set the goal of &mdash ; promote sustainable production of lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide for batteries, and develop local resources for energy storage.

Currently, more than half of the world's lithium supply is in the region known as the “Lithium Triangle”. It affects the territory of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. Miners extract lithium by drilling wells in salt flats and pumping the salty, mineral-rich liquid to the surface. Then it is left to evaporate in large artificial lakes. The process uses a significant amount of water, more than 2 million liters for every tonne of lithium produced. Such high water consumption has a negative impact on the environment.

If the lithium extraction method proposed by EnBW is scaled up, it could become an alternative to existing lithium carbonate production. This method will also open up more opportunities to improve other industries, such as the production and storage of renewable energy.

But most importantly, the technology will reduce the dependence of European countries on foreign lithium and give them the opportunity to increase their role in the global supply chain. lithium-ion batteries, thereby reducing dependence on Chinese energy storage.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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