Geothermal wells are becoming a promising source of lithium for

Geothermal wells are becoming a promising source of lithium for batteries

The world needs huge amounts of lithium, and really large-scale development is only concentrated in a few regions like China and Australia. For example, there is only one active mine in the US. The British company Geothermal Engineering Ltd (GEL), which deals with the development of geothermal energy sources, wants to revolutionize the extraction of lithium, which is necessary for batteries.



In the British county of Cornwall, they want to use geothermal sources not only for energy production, but also for the production of “green” lithium without CO2 emissions during production.

As part of the new project, it is planned to implement an initiative that will allow the extraction of lithium from geothermal waters. The Company intends to achieve this by working with Cornish Lithium through the GeoCubed joint venture. It obtains the metal through direct lithium mining (so-called DLE). So far, it remains to scale the existing methods for extracting metal from solution to an industrial scale.

As the environmental sustainability, economics and availability of lithium mining are strategically important, “green” local mining projects are also gaining ground – due to the lack of lithium even large automakers are forced to revise plans for electric vehicle production.

According to experts and environmental activists, lithium is “essential for the transition to green technologies”, with the largest quantities of it coming from the recycling of old batteries in the near future, but the increasing consumption also requires new production methods, such as e.g. B. Extraction from solutions in geothermal sources.



The $5.46 million GeoCubed pilot plant will use a variety of direct lithium mining methods based on the United Downs Deep Geothermal Power Project – surface water for a geothermal power plant is rich in chemical elements. It’s just one of many companies focused on direct lithium mining. Similar companies are organized around the world.

If the existing open-trail and salt marsh lithium extraction methods cause significant environmental damage, DLE methods allow the use of geothermal sources for extraction with virtually no environmental impact.

For the Cornwall project, GeoCubed earlier this month engaged Ross-shire Engineering to take care of engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning. Further work is being carried out – as the test results showed, the concentration of lithium in the resulting water is “inspirational”, in addition, the presence of cesium, rubidium and potassium in significant quantities is observed, which can also be mined and used . If everything goes as planned by the organizers, the pilot plant should go into operation at the end of March this year.


About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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