Brine resources could electrify the vehicle industry

With the increasing demand for electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries, traditional methods of brine mining and hard rock mining of lithium are proving insufficient. Several companies are piloting a set of new and largely unproven technologies called direct lithium extraction (DLE) which could increase the efficiency of the brine mining process. As automakers around the world struggle to meet ambitious electric vehicle production targets, there’s growing interest in the DLE process to extract lithium.

The salient features of the DLE process include:

  • DLE pulls the brine directly from the earth and into a processing unit and then puts it through a series of chemical processes to separate the lithium
  • It produces battery-grade lithium carbonate or hydroxide in a matter of hours
  • It does not need to transport concentrated brine to a separate processing facility

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