Germany found enough lithium reserves for millions of batteries
For the production of batteries for electric cars to be possible, one of the essential components is lithium. In addition to the problems related to its exploitation, it gathers concerns about its end of life. In this sense, Germany wanted to develop a process that would allow the sustainable extraction of the component in a giant deposit found.
Apparently, in the deposits found it is estimated that there is enough lithium to manufacture batteries for about 400 million electric cars.
Germany finds huge source of lithium
A few months ago, Germany confirmed that it was developing a process that would allow economical and sustainable extraction of lithium from thermal water deposits under the Rhine. For the purpose, the authorities studied the reserves that exist on the site and realized that they were much larger than expected.
As they put it, the deposits found under the river could contain enough lithium to make batteries for about 400 million electric cars.
Namely, lithium is melted and retained within underground sources of boiling water thousands of meters deep. If the German authorities' estimates of the size of the deposit are correct, this would be one of the largest in the world.
In this sense, although it is facing many 'ifs', if the extraction of lithium were done successfully, Germany would decrease its dependence and that of Europe on imports of the component.
Company to explore one of the (supposed) largest deposits
In addition to the efficient extraction of lithium, two of the major problems lie in the environmental impact and in the opposition of local people to the process. If, until now, the large deposits were located in remote areas, exploration in inhabited areas of Germany may provoke a different conversation.
Even so, the company Vulcan Energy wasted no time and has already confirmed the project for the construction of geothermal plants. These will be responsible for the extraction of lithium and the investment will be, in the first phase, around two billion euros.
The company forecasts that it will be possible to extract 15,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per year, in two installations, until 2024. In turn, the second phase will start in 2025 and will involve the construction of a third installation, as well as an increase in the capacity to 40,000 tons.
If the expectations of Vulcan Energy are matched, only the Rhine deposit will be able to extract more lithium than most deposits in the world.