Breakthru Method to "Mine" Lithium for Batteries
Lilac Solutions Innovative Tech & Global Battery Shortages
Potential Battery Breakthru for EVs, Smartphones & More
Lithium ion batteries are the power source for EVs, smartphones, computers and more. The use of lithium ion batteries has become so pervasive that global demand for them is expected to quadruple over the next decade and global market shortages are expected as early as 2023. Now, there may be a new tech solution. Lilac Solutions, an Oakland, California startup, has a revolutionary new lithium ion extraction process that appears to be exponentially quicker, less expensive, less energy intensive and far more environmentally friendly than current lithium mining technologies.
Lithium - the "Irreplaceable Metal" for EVs
Lithium is known as the "irreplaceable metal" for EVs because of its high energy density to power batteries with fewer cells at potentially less expense. It is found in hard rock mountainous regions, which are very expensive and energy intensive to mine for lithium, and in saltwater deposits, which are less expensive but very time consuming and water intensive to mine. Lilac claims their new "mining" extraction process secures lithium from saltwater or brine in two hours, as opposed to the current technology average of two years. The company adds that it can extract the same amount of lithium from one acre of hard rocky land as current technologies can extract from 10,000 acres. But, does this revolutionary new technology have credibility and backing? It certainly does.
Big Investors Are Lining Up
Big investors are lining up and pouring money into Lilac's $150 million Series B Round. The investors include Germany's BMW, T. Rowe Price, Lowercarbon Capital and more. The urgent need for lithium is extraordinary. Global manufacturers will need 189,000 metric tons more than extractors say they can deliver in 2025. The Center for Automotive Research forecasts that lithium shortages at that level of supply could make 19 million EVs defunct over the next decade because of the lack of lithium ion batteries to support driving them.
New Innovation to Mine Lithium
Lilac uses patented ceramic beads to filter out the lithium from saltwater brine. The lithium is cleansed of other elements and turned into powder for lithium ion battery creation. Lilac says the process is environmentally sound and far more efficient than current systems. The company is using the Series B Round money to double its workforce and build a US manufacturing facility. Lilac is also partnering with a lithium developer in Australia and will start global commercial operations in 2024. Their business model is fascinating. They are offering lithium "mining" or extraction as a business service by partnering with companies to build and operate their lithium extraction system.