With this website we want to provide the most relevant information on the research project UnLimited that deals with investigations on lithium extraction from hot deep water in Germany. The co-production of lithium from deep geothermal plants is currently being discussed worldwide and has already been implemented locally in a pilot manner. Demand for lithium is growing rapidly, especially in the field of electromobility. In Germany, high lithium concentrations of up to 200 mg/l are measured in hot thermal brines in the Upper Rhine Graben (ORG) and North German Basin (NGB). The potential is therefore promising, and this extraction technology can be a steppingstone in the establishment of a domestic value chain for lithium. In the UnLimited joint project, the project partners are working together on the development and testing of a process that will enable lithium production from the extracted deep waters to accompany their geothermal energy use.
The Department of Geochemistry & Economic Geology at the Institute of Applied Geosciences (AGW) at KIT deals intensively with the development processes of different hydrothermal deposits & geothermal systems. The research is based on high-quality analysis, which is carried out in a widely equipped laboratory for environmental and raw material analysis. mehr »
The Department of Applied Geology deals with the characterization and modelling of near-surface and deep aquifers with a focus on solid rock hydrogeology of georeservoirs and groundwater resources in semi-arid areas (e.g., karst aquifers). The working group uses a wide range of methods. mehr »
Deep geothermal energy as an ever-available renewable energy source has been a focus of EnBW's research for several years. EnBW gained extensive practical experience as an operator of geothermal plants in partnerships in which it jointly planned, built, and operated the geothermal power plants Bruchsal (since 2010) and Soultz, France (since 2010). mehr »
BESTEC specializes in the development and use of renewable energies, in particular geothermal energy from hydrothermal and so-called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) for power generation and heat generation. BESTEC has set itself the goal of combining the specific strengths of research and industry and developing innovative concepts based on them. mehr »
The UnLimited research project invites you to participate in the workshop "Extraction technologies from geothermal brines for lithium recovery" at this year's Geotherm in Offenburg. The focus will be on the technical approaches and processes of lithium extraction from geothermal brines, as well as further processing. Participation in the workshop is free of charge for all Geotherm visitors.
From November 16 to 17, 2022, the next expert committee meeting for geothermal energy of the GDMB will take place in Bruchsal at the invitation of the Energie Baden-Württemberg (EnBW AG).
As part of the UnLimited project, various sorbents are currently under research considering a sustainable lithium extraction from geothermal fluids in Germany. Experiments in the laboratory revealed a higher lithium adsorption capacity of zeolites. Thus zeolites may represent promising alternatives to manganese oxides.
With the theme "Geothermal lithium: dream or reality?", the international event "Groundwater, Key to the Sustainable Development Goals" is dedicated to various aspects of the extraction of lithium from deep geothermal fluids in Europe
Currently, the co-production of lithium from deep geothermal plants is being discussed worldwide and has already been implemented locally on a pilot basis. Especially in the field of electro vehicles, the demand for lithium is increasing rapidly. In Europe, there are well identified exploitable resources for lithium in the Upper Rhine Graben from Alsace in France to Germany near Mannheim where the deep geothermal brines reveal lithium contents up to 200 mg/L.