Lithium from oil & gas wastewater company gets funding

Element3 says its technology will be deployed this year

A Fort Worth, Texas company that plans to extract lithium from oil and gas wastewater said it has successfully closed its seed investment round.

Element3 said major investors include EIC Rose Rock, leading oil and gas family offices, and other strategic partners. The round will accelerate the development and testing of Element3’s patent-pending Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology. The company plans to deploy this groundbreaking technology in field operations by early 2024.

According to the company, one of the United States’ largest, untapped lithium resources lies in oil and gas wastewater. The one trillion gallons of wastewater generated annually from oil and gas operations is estimated to contain 350,000 tons of lithium. Element3 said its technology transforms this industrial byproduct into a valuable domestic commodity.

“Element3 is poised to reshape the lithium industry, marking a significant step toward a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future,” said Hood Whitson, founder and CEO of Element3. “This strategic funding underscores a collective recognition of the ever-evolving energy landscape and the commitment of forward-thinking investors to embrace a sustainable future. We are excited and grateful for this transformative partnership with our investors.”

The amount raised during the seed investment round was not disclosed.

According to the company, by 2030, U.S. battery plants are expected to require 40 times the current U.S. lithium production. Forecasts for increasing U.S. production satisfy just 25 percent of this demand. With current market conditions and mining techniques, this increase in demand poses both a significant national security risk and environmental impact.

“Extracting lithium from oil and gas wastewater could supply nearly half of the approximately 725,000 tons of lithium U.S. EV battery gigafactories will need annually by 2030,” said Andrew Lackner, Managing Director of Energy Innovation Capital. “EIC Rose Rock and our corporate partners are excited to invest in, and partner with, Element3 to support the demonstration of the economic viability of Element3’s pioneering DLE technology in 2024.”

EIC Rose Rock is a long-term partnership between George Kaiser Family Foundation’s tech-focused development arm, multiple Fortune 500 energy leaders, and the premier venture capital fund, Energy Innovation Capital (EIC). EIC Rose Rock provides early-stage funding for entrepreneurs developing energy technologies that advance energy diversification, improve sustainability and enhance the operational efficiency of existing oil and gas assets.

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