Xerion Advanced Battery Corp., in a collaboration with researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, secured the premier position in the U.S. Department of Energy's inaugural American-Made Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize. The recognition, accompanied by a $1 million fund from the Geothermal Technologies Office, aims to expedite Xerion's roadmap to bring its cutting-edge ceramic redox membrane technology to the fore.
The company showcased its patented nanostructured ceramic redox membrane's capability in effectively deriving lithium from low-concentration geothermal brines, particularly those detected in California's Salton Sea vicinity. The extracted lithium hydroxide possesses the quality to function directly as a battery component, streamline cathode synthesis via Xerion's DirectPlate™ process, or cater to conventional cathode production procedures.
Highlighting the uniqueness and benefits of Xerion's approach, Professor Paul Braun from the University of Illinois remarked, “Unlike typical polymer membranes, Xerion's DirectPlate™ ceramic membrane exhibits commendable resistance against geothermal brines' temperature and chemistry, ensuring optimal lithium selectivity and durability.”
Xerion's innovation not only paves the way for selective lithium extraction and reduced environmental footprints but also complements its dense cathode innovation.
Reflecting on the broader implications of the technology, John Busbee, CEO of Xerion, stated, “Harnessing efficient geothermal lithium extraction technologies can fortify the U.S.'s position in the global shift towards net-zero emissions. Our technology, tailored for the Salton Sea's geothermal brine, holds significant promise. By expanding our direct lithium extraction (DLE) from global lithium brine sources, we edge closer to a sustainable energy future underpinned by domestic creativity.”