Climate and Clean Tech | February 15, 2024

Lilac Solutions raises $145 million for green lithium production

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, February 15 – Lithium prices have fallen steeply as US electric-vehicle adoption has wobbled. But green, efficient and economical lithium extraction to support EV battery demand remains one of climate tech’s “holy grails.”

Lilac Solutions clinched $145 million in Series C financing for its low-carbon process of extracting lithium from salt water. The Oakland, Calif.-based company extracts lithium directly from brine with ion-exchange technology, a process it says uses 10 times less freshwater than traditional open pit mining or evaporation.

Lilac’s funding follows a demonstration project in Argentina with Australian lithium producer Lake Resources that produced 2,500 kilograms “with high-purity and minimal environmental impact,” Lilac says. Next up: Lilac is eyeing the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

EnergyX in Austin is also working on a brine-based lithium extraction process using membranes.

Commercialization capital

Lilac’s financing was led by energy commodity group Mercuria and existing investors Lowercarbon Capital and Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Other key shareholders also reupped, and The Nature Conservancy and Mitsubishi joined as new investors.

Prime Coalition was among the company’s earliest backers.