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Lithium – why this raw material makes even Elon Musk nervous

Lithium-ion batteries are already an integral part of our everyday lives. They are found in many electronic products. However, mobile electrification is increasingly becoming the most important demand driver. The “white gold” is becoming even more popular. An Eldorado for commodity producers, investors can also benefit.

The German-Australian company Vulcan Energy is in a gold-rush mood. Vulcan wants to use geothermal drilling to pump thermal water up from deep layers in the Upper Rhine Graben and filter out the lithium it contains. It is about a future project in the billions!

The supply of the alkali metal in Germany is apparently plentiful. According to geologists’ estimates, the region contains enough “white gold” for more than 400 million electric car batteries. Vulcan’s plans are similar in size. In Frankfurt’s Höchst chemical park, the company now also wants to set up a first plant in order to expand the existing one

Convert lithium chloride into high-purity lithium hydroxide suitable for the production of electric car batteries. Vulcan intends to deliver the first “zero-carbon lithium” by 2024 and from then on produce up to 40,000 tons per year. The long-term goal is to provide lithium hydroxide for one million electric cars every year.

There are plenty of potential buyers for the end product. Politics and business rely on e-mobility as a contribution to climate change. Above all, the ambitious car giant Volkswagen. The Wolfsburg-based company plans to have around 26 million purely electric vehicles on the road by 2029. The hunt for Tesla has begun.

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