Venture Capital: Lithium Extraction Startup Lilac Solutions Announces $150M Series B
Lilac has developed an innovative ion exchange technology to increase production of lithium from brine resources.
Lilac Solutions, a startup developing a lithium extraction technology, announced Wednesday the first close of its $150 million Series B round. Lilac’s ion exchange technology for extraction of lithium from brine is faster to deploy, more efficient, sustainable and financially superior compared to conventional technology. (BusinessWire)
The Series B round was 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.
Plans for production of electric vehicles globally require a 30X jump in lithium supply, according to Lilac. However, technical and environmental problems beset the extraction of lithium from brines – natural deposits of salt water – that contain enough lithium for the world’s needs.
“Electric vehicles are a low-carbon success story, but the lithium raw materials needed for batteries have become a serious bottleneck,” said Dave Snydacker, CEO of Lilac Solutions. “The lithium industry has been plagued by technical and environmental problems that have put the energy transition in jeopardy. Lilac’s technology solves these problems and will finally enable lithium production at a scale demanded for the energy transition.”
Using Lilac’s technology, the brine is restored back to its underground reservoirs after depleting the lithium. This method is far more environmentally friendly than current production methods.
“Lilac Solutions holds significant promise in unlocking the world’s latent lithium resources that are currently too low-grade to be conventionally harvested,” said John Qian, portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price. “What’s even more appealing, however, is that the environmental impact of Lilac’s extraction process is potentially orders of magnitude less than more conventional methods.”
Chris Sacca, Managing Partner of Lowercarbon Capital, commented, “I’ve been doing this a long time, but before Lilac, I’ve never seen a company whose product is 10,000x faster than the competition. Lilac’s success means much more affordable electric cars, hundreds of millions of tons less CO2 pollution, and a big step toward enhancing US national security.”
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