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 »
Geothermal heat from deep subsurface will become even more important in the future: Thereby, the extracted heat can supply neighborhoods and industry - via heating networks, completely without CO2 emissions and independent of domestic sources. Until now, coal or gas had to be burned for this purpose. On September 8, 2022, Minister President Winfried Kretschmann visited the geothermal plant in Bruchsal, which is currently operated by the EnBW as well as the Bruchsal city utility. For some time now, the geothermal site has been supplying the nearby police barracks with heat, and since 2021 has also been producing lithium for car batteries.
In view of the rising global demand for lithium, the Mexican government has founded a state-owned company to extract and market the light metal. The raw material, which is important for electric cars, will in future be produced and marketed exclusively by the company Litio para México (Lithium for Mexico, or LitioMx for short), according to a decree issued by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Germany's automotive industry heavyweights, the Volkswagen Group and Mercedes-Benz, want to cooperate more closely with Canada in the future. During Chancellor Olaf Scholz's (SPD) visit to Canada, both companies signed declarations of intent on electromobility in Toronto on Tuesday.
A consortium of in total twelve European universities and companies, including Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), is currently planning to establish the first lithium supply chain in Europe. The goal of the EU-funded "LiCORNE" research project is to increase Europe's lithium processing and refining capacity to produce battery-grade chemicals from ores, brines, and off-specification battery cathode materials.
On Thursday, August 4, 2022, the second UnLimited General Assembly was held at the Innovation Campus of Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW) in Karlsruhe.