Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invest $20 million to California start-up promising less water consuming lithium mining
California-based Lilac Solutions claims to be a real game changer in the field of lithium mining used for batteries. The technology is based on ion exchange, which should double the effectivity of lithium processing. The company now focuses on more technologies to commercialize.
Current lithium production is very demanding on water supply, which is used for extraction lithium from lithium ore. Around 70,000 liters of water are expected to be used to produce one ton of lithium. Lilac Solutions suggests repeated usage of the same water, which could speed up the extraction procedure.
David Snydacek, CEO of Lilac Solutions, stated that the technology could be useful for lithium mining from brine, which is by-product of oil extraction or geothermal energy extraction. If the suggested technology works out well, potential of lithium supplies could grow rapidly in Bolivia, Chile and other Latina America countries, where there are great reserves of lithium.