$11 million in lithium and brine studies announced by Department of Energy

Seawater could provide nearly unlimited amounts of critical battery  material | Science | AAAS


The Biden Administration’s Department of Energy announced nearly $11 million in funding of 10 projects across nine states to study extraction of lithium, the mineral needed for production of batteries for electric vehicles.

The Energy Department stated the $10.9 million will advance innovative technologies to extract and convert battery-grade lithium from geothermal brine sources in the U.S. It is the very effort of Oklahoma City-based Galvanic Energy which is focused on lithium development in southern Arkansas. However, none of the recipients of the funding is from Oklahoma.

The Energy Department says the projects will increase America’s access to cost-effective, domestic sources of this critical material needed for batteries for stationary storage and electric vehicles to meet the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals of 50% electric vehicle adoption by 2030 and a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

These projects are being managed in collaboration by EERE’s AMMTO and GTO. The projects add to a portfolio of recent investments such AMMTO’s Critical Materials Institute – an Energy Innovation Hub led by Ames National Laboratory and GTO’s Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize.

These projects will also further develop a DOE-led innovation ecosystem around lithium production as project participants will be invited to participate in the Lithium RD&D Virtual Center. The Center coordinates investment activity across industry, government, and academia.

The 10 projects were selected from two topic areas:

  1. Field Validation of Lithium Hydroxide Production from Geothermal Brines: Pilot or demonstration projects to validate cost-effective, innovative lithium extraction and lithium hydroxide conversion technologies.
  2. Applied Research & Development for Direct Lithium Extraction from Geothermal Brines: Research and development projects to advance emerging direct lithium extraction (DLE) process technologies to increase efficiency, reduce waste generation, and/or reduce cost of DLE.

Selected Projects

Award and cost share amounts are subject to change, pending negotiations.

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