Lithium Extraction Technology Company Lilac Solutions Raises $150 Million

By Annie Baker ● Oct 9, 2021
  • Lithium extraction technology company Lilac Solutions announced the first close of a $150 million Series B financing round. These are the details.

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

Lilac developed a new ion exchange technology to increase the production of lithium from brine resources. And the company has proven the technology on a variety of brines and recently completed its first field pilot, setting a new standard for rapid deployment and process performance. Lilac plans to use the new funds to ramp production of the company’s unique ion exchange beads, expand its teams of engineers and field operators, and deploy the technology globally.

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

Lilac’s lithium extraction technology is significantly faster to deploy and more effective than conventional processes and offers better financial returns. And 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.

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. And Lilac is partnering with lithium brine resource developers to ramp production while protecting local communities and ecosystems.

KEY QUOTES:

“Electric vehicles are a low-carbon success story, but the lithium raw materials needed for batteries have become a serious bottleneck. 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. We are thrilled to build this supply chain with support from our investors.”

— Dave Snydacker, CEO of Lilac Solutions

“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.”

— Chris Sacca, Managing Partner of Lowercarbon Capital

“Lilac Solutions holds significant promise in unlocking the world’s latent lithium resources that are currently too low-grade to be conventionally harvested. 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. We believe that Lilac is well-positioned to address this important issue facing current and future generations around the world.”

— John Qian, portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price