KIT team develops minimally invasive technology to mine lithium in geothermal plantsScientists at KIT have developed and patented a process for ...KIT team develops minimally invasive technology to mine lithium in geothermal plants
Scientists at KIT have developed and patented a process for minimally invasive technology to mine lithium in geothermal plants.
The plan is to extract lithium using a minimally invasive process from the deep waters in geothermal plants of the Upper Rhine Graben—an area that has particularly favorable geological conditions for geothermal heat development. Using the minimally invasive method developed by KIT, thousands of tons of lithium could be extracted from the German and French Upper Rhine trench every year.
There can be up to 200 milligrams of dissolved lithium per liter of salty thermal water reservoirs in rock formations in the Upper Rhine Trench, says geoscientist Dr. Jens Grimmer from the Institute of Applied Geosciences (AGW) of KIT.
If we consistently use this potential, we could cover a considerable part of the demand in Germany.
Currently, Germany is a net importer of lithium needed for the production of battery cells for electric vehicles. Imports are coming from the typical mining countries Chile, Argentina, and Australia, which account for more than 80% of global production.