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Battery metals can be extracted from geothermal brine

by Dignity News
Scientists from Poland, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Germany and Hungary are investigating the possibilities of profitable extraction of valuable metals – such as lithium – from selected groundwater. The 1.7-million-euro BrineRIS project is financed by EU funds under the KAVA 8 EIT Raw Materials program. The activities are managed by the Wrocław University of Science and Technology.

Scientists, together with industrial partners, intend to collect available information on the potential of brines that exist in selected six countries covered by the so-called Regional Innovation Program EIT (EIT RIS), i.e. Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain, Portugal and Hungary. They will also conduct analyzes of selected prospective 12 sources in terms of obtaining metals from them.

As part of the project, the partners will launch a portal for organizations interested in investing in brine installations, with access to information and analyses prepared under BrineRIS. There are also plans for open workshops on the potential of geothermal brines, study visits by scientists and a summer school for students in Karlsruhe. Engineering and master’s theses will also be prepared.

The project, coordinated by the Wrocław University of Science and Technology, is also attended by: CSIC – The Spanish National Research Council; University of Miskolc; Ghent University; TUBA Freiberg; European Lithium Institute eLi ;, Geological Survey of Finland; Redstone Exploration Services and KGHM Polska Miedź.

Lithium is one of the metals of great importance, especially for the fast-growing electric car industry. It is used in the production of car batteries, specifically in the production of lithium-ion batteries with long service life and short charging time. Experts’ calculations indicate that by the end of the decade the demand for lithium, already very high, will increase even fivefold.

Arkadiusz Słomczyński

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