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.




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.



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