Sustainable Direct Lithium Extraction ("DLE") for the recovery, concentration, and production of lithium chloride from aqueous sources
Award last edited on: 11/22/2023

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
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Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
Christopher Green

Company Information

Aqueous Resources LLC (AKA: Alchemist Mining Incorporated)

8200 E Pacific Pl Stop 103
Denver, CO 80231
   (303) 915-8631

Research Institution

Montana Technological University

Phase I

Contract Number: DE-SC0023967
Start Date: 7/10/2023    Completed: 7/9/2025
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Lithium is a strategic mineral commodity that is fundamental to achieving U.S. energy independence. Today, the U.S. is reliant on other countries for a vast majority of its battery critical minerals processing, which poses risk of disruption to domestic supply chain. Our fundamental objective is to take a leading role in the development of a robust domestic minerals extraction and processing supply chain. Many of the materials needed to supply the next generation of batteries for electric vehicles and stationary storage are not produced domestically in the quantities and the costs needed to keep up with the increasing downstream U.S. demand. Advanced, cost-competitive separation and processing technologies offer a critical opportunity for development of a robust U.S. battery supply chain. Conventional purification of natural brines through fractionated crystallization (sequential crystallization using a series of evaporitic ponds) has proven to be a costly, environmentally unsustainable process yielding relatively low recovery of the in-situ lithium resource. Aqueous Resources aims to apply its patented DLE (Direct Lithium Extraction) technology for economic, environmentally efficient, and sustainable lithium production from brine solutions. Our goal is to substantially increase domestic lithium production by augmenting a field proven, patented produced water recycling system for sustainable DLE from US based-continental brines. (1) Obtain continental brines samples from domestic US resources located in Nevada, Arizona, and Arkansas; (2) Test & optimize the patented “AcQUATM” lithium extraction technology on these brine samples at our Denver, CO located facility; (3) Benchmark the lithium recovery process in terms of economic capital expense and sustainability metrics specifically generating quantitative data which supports: (a) Recycling >95% of the input feed water; (b) Mitigates fuel consumption with use of remote solar power; and (c) Reduce CO2 and GHG emissions; (4) Generate an optimal “bespoke” DLE treatment flowsheet for lithium recovery for each continental brine; and (5) Build a modular 24,000 barrel/day integrated pre-treatment and lithium chloride production system suitable for immediate deployment and field testing at one resource location. The key benefits to the application of DLE technology are: (1) reduction in the CAPEX & OPEX per unit ton of lithium hydroxide or carbonate produced (2) unlock trapped domestic lithium resources through the application of patented American owned technology (3) deliver a secure and sustainable source of lithium in the United States for society.

Phase II

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Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
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