Foto: Lilac Solutions

Innovative process for efficient and sustainable lithium mining

The US start-up Lilac Solutions has developed and patented a technology that uses an ion exchanger to significantly improve the breakdown of lithium from the brine of salt water deposits in terms of efficiency, costs and sustainability. In order to promote the environmentally friendly and resource-saving mining of lithium, the BMW Group is investing in an innovative process developed by the US startup Lilac Solutions through its venture capital fund BMW i Ventures.

“Innovative technologies lead to better, more sustainable and more efficient access to raw materials. By investing in start-ups, we accelerate the development of new technologies, promote competition and provide impetus to facilitate market access for young companies, ”said Wolfgang Obermaier, Head of Indirect Goods and Services, Raw Materials, Production Partner of the BMW Group. “

By investing in Lilac Solutions, we are promoting technological progress in the field of lithium mining. Responsible and sustainable mining is in the foreground. ” Lilac Solutions has developed a new ion exchange technology to make the mining of lithium from brine resources more efficient and cost-effective. At the same time, the company aims to significantly reduce the impact on the environment compared to conventional methods and to protect local communities and ecosystems. The technology has already proven itself in the first field pilot projects and must now prove that it is scalable and can go into industrialization in the medium term. The process could then be used worldwide in brines, even if they only have a low lithium content.


The BMW Group has placed sustainability and resource conservation at the center of its corporate strategy. A key aspect is compliance with environmental and social standards in the supply chain. In the case of critical raw materials, the requirement to rule out violations of environmental standards and human rights poses a particular challenge – this is also the case with lithium. The BMW Group’s purchasing department has therefore taken additional measures for this raw material and is buying it directly from the raw material producers in order to make it available to the battery cell suppliers. In this way, the company creates complete transparency about the origin and mining methods of the material.

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