Vulcan opens Europe’s first fully domestic lithium production plant in Germany

vulcan lithium Landau Zero Carbon Lithium Project

Photo: Vulcan


November 30, 2023






November 30, 2023





Australian-German company Vulcan Energy Resources has unveiled a lithium extraction optimization plant as part of its Zero Carbon Lithium Project, which aims to use geothermal heat from the Upper Rhine Valley brine deposit and make the company the first in the world to produce lithium with a net zero carbon footprint. Moreover, lithium extraction from salt water has a much lower environmental impact than projects at salt deserts and mines, which have caused public opposition in Serbia, Portugal, and the Americas over the past years.

Vulcan’s Lithium Extraction Optimisation Plant (LEOP), located in Landau, Germany, is an optimization, staff training, and product qualification facility whose purpose is to enable commercial operational readiness. The investment was worth EUR 40 million. The phase one commercial plant is being constructed and will be commissioned in the next two and a half years, the company said in a statement.

A commercial production plant is expected to be completed within two and a half years

Tapping on Europe’s largest lithium deposit, the Upper Rhine Valley Brine Field, this will be the first plant on the continent for fully domestic lithium chemicals production, which will secure a lithium supply chain for European electric vehicle manufacturers, according to the statement.

Vulcan has successfully tested and piloted lithium production in the Upper Rhine Valley Brine Field for nearly three years, including at its pilot plants in Insheim and Landau. LEOP will produce “tonnes of lithium chloride,” the announcement adds.

The company has proven that the sustainable lithium production process – Adsorption-Type Direct Lithium Extraction (A-DLE), which accounts for 10% of global lithium production today – can be successfully applied in the Upper Rhine Valley, heated and powered by geothermal renewable energy, reads the statement.

The sustainable lithium production from salt water has been successfully applied in the Upper Rhine Valley

Vulcan already has lithium offtake agreements in place with Stellantis, Volkswagen, Renault, Umicore and LG Energy Solutions, which will help build a competitive and sustainable battery industry in Europe across the entire value chain.

Once it launches the first phase of its commercial operation, Vulcan will produce enough lithium hydroxide for 500,000 electric vehicles, the company said. Vulcan’s Zero Carbon Lithium Project will also provide renewable heating to local communities.

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