Nobian, a Netherlands-based chemical company, has agreed with Australian lithium producer Vulcan Energy Resources to assess the feasibility of producing lithium hydroxide from lithium chloride in Germany to meet European electric vehicles market demand.
Nobian said it would host and facilitate an electrolysis and crystallisation demo-plant for the extraction in Frankfurt, Germany, close to the Vulcan geothermal-lithium reservoir sites.
The demo plant will be operated by Vulcan and be operational in Q3 2022.
The EU is the fastest growing lithium market in the world without a local supply of lithium, according to Nobian. The project would support the EU's ambition to be "become less dependent on extraction sources for raw materials and technology," the company explained.
Jurgen Baune, managing director of Nobian Germany, said the agreement would allow the company to become "a key player" in supplying raw materials to the battery industry.
Francis Wedin, Vulcan's managing director, commented that the partnership is part of the company's strategy to "capitalise on synergies" created by working with existing chemical producers.
"Nobian's experience will contribute to reaching our goal of starting production from our Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project in 2024," Wedin said.
The agreement is the latest partnership from significant industry stakeholders designed to improve Europe's lithium supply chain.
Vulcan plans to develop up to five geothermal power plants in Germany
In December 2021, energy companies Galp and Northvolt announced they would develop an integrated lithium battery value chain across Europe by building a lithium conversion plant in Portugal.