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Geothermal industry will become an important participant in sustainable lithium production in Europe!


along withlithiumWith its increasing importance in the revolution of electrification, transportation and storage, the geothermal industry will become an important participant in sustainable lithium production in Europe.

Lithium is special in many ways. It is the lightest metal on earth. It is very soft and can be cut with a knife. It has several high-value applications, from ceramics and glass to medical treatment. It is alsoelectric vehicleuseLithium ion batteryAnd large-scale energy storage system, which is the foundation of clean transportation and 100% renewable energy system in the future.

But the arrival of the electrification transportation revolution is not plain sailing.

Lithium mining outside Europe has a serious impact on the environment

Today, unsustainable lithium mining has left a large number of land and water pollution problems. There are large in Latin AmericaLithium oreWater evaporation pond has a huge open-pit mining facility in Australia for extracting lithium from rocks. The mining process usually pollutes water sources, damages biodiversity, and leads to conflicts with local communities.

A few countries dominate the lithium production market internationally. The EU is heavily dependent on imports and lithium prices are highly volatile. This hinders the speed and scale of electrified transport in Europe.

Geothermal lithium: a clean solution in Europe

Lithium is found in minerals and salts. Therefore, it is not surprising to find lithium in geothermal brine.

Geothermal lithium is different from traditional lithiumLithium mining, its impact on the environment is almost zero, and only a small land and water environmental footprint is left. Traditional lithium mining relies on the evaporation process of mineral water to collect precious metals, while in geothermal power plants, lithium rich brine is pumped from underground thermal reservoirs to the surface. The heat carried by the brine is used to produce renewable energy, and the brine is poured back into the reservoir.

An independent geothermal power plant can provide power generation, heat supply, refrigeration and raw material production, such as zero carbon production of lithium. This quadruple welfare means that it is more cost-effective in decarbonized heating and power generation, and can achieve a lucrative new income stream through climate action.

France and Germany are the leaders in the geothermal lithium market in Europe

In Europe, the competition for geothermal lithium optimization has begun, with France and Germany dominating the market. Geothermal lithium is the core of the European battery value chain. The soultz sous for ê T project in France is expected to have an annual production capacity of 1500 tons of lithium carbonate: accounting for 10% of the demand in France. Only ten such geothermal power plants can meet all the current needs of France.

In Europe, from Alsace in France to Basel in Switzerland, and then to graben, Munich and Frankfurt on the Rhine River in Germany, the exploitable reserves of geothermal lithium have been well confirmed. There, it is possible to obtain resources by drilling 2 to 5 kilometers deep, so that lithium, renewable electricity and heat energy can be produced at the same time. In Cornwall, UK, there is evidence that geothermal lithium exists, and exploration work is ongoing.

The demand for this metal is expected to grow rapidly, and more and more countries will seek to invest in geothermal lithium technology.

However, further exploration is needed to determine the resource potential of geothermal lithium in Europe as a whole. Research funding and mapping are the key to winning the lead in the global battery market.

Developing the internal lithium supply chain is a strategic priority of the EU. Geothermal lithium is a European supply chain solution that is environmentally friendly, creates jobs, and is popular with local communities. It is time to invest in clean lithium made in Europe and a sustainable future.


Article source: Battery China
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