Vulcan forges valuable relationship with DuPont

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Feb 17, 2021, in Technology

Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL) has negotiated a collaborative agreement with DuPont Water Solutions, a leader in water filtration and purification.

Vulcan is aiming to become the world’s first Zero Carbon Lithium® producer, by producing a battery-quality lithium hydroxide chemical product with net zero carbon footprint from its combined geothermal and lithium resource, which is Europe’s largest lithium resource, in the Upper Rhine Valley of Germany.

This agreement will facilitate the testing and scale-up Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) solutions for Vulcan’s world-first Zero Carbon Lithium® extraction process.

DuPont will leverage its portfolio of proprietary Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) products to assist Vulcan with input and test-work during Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium® project Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS).

As part of the project, DuPont will be developing and testing an integrated Direct Lithium Extraction Process for Vulcan’s brine.

Underlining the level of technological expertise DuPont will bring to the project, the group’s portfolio of lithium selective sorbent, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, ion exchange resins, ultrafiltration, and close circuit reverse osmosis will be leveraged for the study.

The agreement is in line with Vulcan’s strategy to test and pursue commercially mature DLE products from major suppliers for its project to minimise technical risks and accelerate development of the project.

Unlike current extraction processes, the Zero Carbon Lithium® project will demonstrate the world’s first completely carbon neutral lithium extraction process with virtually zero environmental disruption.

DuPont brings multiple technological benefits

Commenting on this development and underlining DuPont Water Solutions’ (DWS) market leading position in sustainable water purification and separation technologies, Vulcan managing director Francis Wedin said, “Collaborating with a company like DuPont is an important derisking strategy for the DLE component of our Zero Carbon Lithium® project.

“DuPont’s diverse set of products which can be manufactured at scale are likely to be well-suited to sustainably extract the lithium from the brine. We look forward to a successful long-term relationship with DuPont, to implement our strategy of becoming a major supplier of our unique Zero Carbon Lithium® hydroxide to the European electric vehicle battery market.”

Vulcan will use its unique Zero Carbon Lithium® process to produce both renewable geothermal energy, and lithium hydroxide, from the same deep brine source.

In doing so, it will fix lithium’s current problems for the EU market, a very high carbon and water footprint of production, and total reliance on imports, mostly from China.

Vulcan aims to supply the lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle market in Europe, which is the fastest growing in the world, and the group has a resource that can satisfy Europe’s needs for the electric vehicle transition, from a zero-carbon source, for many years to come.


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