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Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL) - Managing Director, Dr Francis Wedin - The Market Herald
Managing Director, Dr Francis Wedin
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  • Vulcan Energy Resources (VUL) has built and commissioned its direct lithium extraction (DLE) pilot plant, which is now operational in Germany's Upper Rhine Valley
  • Vulcan is aiming to become the world's first zero-carbon lithium producer
  • The pilot plant is now working to extract lithium from live geothermal brine located in existing wells on-site
  • VUL and its major suppliers, including DuPont, are testing DLE products similar to those already used commercially in the lithium industry
  • Vulcan is collecting data for a definitive feasibility study and is looking to finalise the design of a larger demonstration plant
  • The company says its key process operations are capable of scaling up to commercial size with minimal risk
  • Vulcan shares are up 1.76 per cent, trading at $6.36 each

Vulcan Energy Resources' (VUL) has built and commissioned its direct lithium extraction (DLE) pilot plant, which is now operational in Germany's Upper Rhine Valley.

Vulcan is aiming to become the world's first zero-carbon lithium producer by producing a battery-quality lithium hydroxide chemical product with a net-zero carbon footprint.

The pilot plant is now working to extract lithium from live geothermal brine from existing wells on-site with VUL and its major suppliers, including DuPont, testing DLE products similar to those already used commercially in the lithium industry.

Vulcan says its team is focussed on demonstrating pre-treatment and DLE processes, as well as the durability of the process over hundreds of cycles, which will feed into a definitive feasibility study.

VUL will then use data collected to inform and finalise the design of a larger demonstration plant, which will also contribute information towards the study.

According to VUL's technology partners and internal experts, the company's key process operations are capable of scaling up to commercial size with minimal risk.

Vulcan Managing Director Dr Francis Wedin said that getting the plant up and running on live geothermal brine is a significant milestone.

"This has already started producing crucial data needed for de-risking the lithium extraction process," Dr Wedin commented.

"It took less than six months to design, build, and commission the pilot plant. This aggressive timeline was enabled by the project’s world-class technology partners and location in Germany, where access to chemical engineering expertise is unparalleled," he continued.

"This is a critical step towards our strategy of producing lithium hydroxide using our unique zero-carbon lithium process for the European battery electric vehicle market, and building a combined renewable energy and chemicals business."

Last month, Vulcan announced its partnership with Circular to ensure a fully traceable supply chain when it starts zero-lithium carbon production in 2024.

Vulcan Energy Resources shares are up 1.76 per cent, trading at $6.36 at 9:35 am AEST.

VUL by the numbers
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