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.




At the end of the year, the members of the two BMWK-funded research projects Li+Fluids and UnLimited met for an online expert discussion. The event focused on the presentation of the current activities of the individual partners and an outlook for the coming year 2023.
This year's annual event "Lithium Days" of the German Lithium Institute ITEL (Institute for Technologies and Economics of Lithium) was held in Leipzig from December 5 to 7. Besides numerous representatives from science, industry and politics, the two project partners EnBW and KIT of the research project UnLimited were also involved in the event.
The construction of the Unlimited pilot plant for the extraction of lithium has been successfully completed. The work was carried out under the leadership of KIT in cooperation with the collaborative partners. The demonstrator is currently located at the Bruchsal test site.
The International Lithium Association (ILiA) is the global trade association for the lithium industry and represents the entire lithium value chain. The Association was established in 2021 as an international not-for-profit industry association run by and for its members.
Pumping up thermal water, separating lithium, and using it to produce batteries for electric mobility – the idea of lithium as an environmentally compatible and regionally available by-product of geothermal energy plants appears highly promising. However, it has not been clear so far whether domestic lithium extraction is really worthwhile. A team of researchers from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has now summarized the state of the art, analyzed raw materials markets, and assessed technologies. According to them, it might be possible in theory to extract thousands of tons of lithium every year in Germany, but crucial aspects still need to be clarified.



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