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Lilac Solutions closes $150M Series B to scale lithium supply for the EV era

Lilac Solutions, a lithium extraction technology company, announced the first close of a $150-million Series B financing led by Lowercarbon Capital and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. Additional new investors include Mercuria Energy Trading and Valor Equity Partners; existing investors Breakthrough Energy Ventures and The Engine also participated in the round.

Much of the world’s lithium is contained in brine resources—naturally occurring deposits of salt water. These brines are abundant, but resource developers have struggled to bring projects into production due to a lack of cost-effective technology.

Lilac has developed a new ion exchange technology to increase production of lithium from brine resources. Lilac produces ion exchange beads and delivers these beads to brine projects worldwide. The beads are loaded into tanks, brine is flowed through the tanks, and as the brine percolates through the beads, the beads absorb lithium out of the brine.

Once the beads are saturated with lithium, hydrochloric acid is used to flush out the lithium, yielding lithium chloride. Lithium chloride is the “crude oil” of lithium—the standard intermediary in every lithium brine project today. The lithium chloride is then processed on-site with conventional process equipment to yield a finished product. The product—lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide—is sold to battery makers.

The technology allows brine to be returned back underground following lithium recovery; this minimizes environmental impact compared to existing lithium production methods based on evaporation ponds.

The company has proven the technology on a variety of brines and recently completed its first field pilot. Lilac will use the new funds to ramp production of the company’s ion exchange beads, expand its teams of engineers and field operators, and deploy the technology globally.

As automakers shift to battery power, concerns about national security, sustainability, and human rights have led to increased scrutiny of the lithium supply chain globally. Lilac is partnering with lithium brine resource developers to ramp production while protecting local communities and ecosystems.


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