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Exxon Mobil aims to start lithium production in Arkansas by 2026

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Exxon Mobil aims to start lithium production in Arkansas by 2026

Robert Besser
16 Nov 2023, 01:17 GMT+10

  • Along with an announcement that it aims to start lithium production in Arkansas by 2026, U.S. company Exxon Mobil is expected to reveal its overall strategy for the EV battery metal this week
  • Exxon’s expansion into the sector comes amid global companies utilizing the latest technologies to increase lithium production by filtering it from salty brine deposits
  • Despite inventing the lithium-ion battery in the 1970s, Exxon abandoned the technology but now plans to produce some 10,000 metric tons of the ultra-light metal per year in Arkansas by 2026 with partner Tetra Technologies

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas: Along with an announcement that it aims to start lithium production in Arkansas by 2026, U.S. company Exxon Mobil is expected to reveal its overall strategy for the electric vehicle (EV) battery metal this week.

Exxon’s expansion into the sector comes amid global companies utilizing the latest technologies to increase lithium production by filtering it from salty brine deposits, which are then supplied to battery makers that require new sources of raw materials.

Despite inventing the lithium-ion battery in the 1970s, Exxon abandoned the technology but now plans to produce some 10,000 metric tons of the ultra-light metal per year in Arkansas by 2026 with partner Tetra Technologies, under a project titled “Project Evergreen.”

Under the project, initial production would be equivalent to the amount required to produce 100,000 EV batteries.

Reuters previously reported that Exxon and Tetra agreed to develop more than 6,100 lithium-rich acres in Arkansas, producing water treatment and recycling chemicals.

This year, Exxon has drilled wells in Arkansas to study the Smackover Formation, which stretches from Florida to Texas and contains considerable amounts of lithium and bromine-rich brine.

The company has also been testing unproven direct lithium extraction (DLE) technology, which will be crucial for commercial operations.

Exxon and other fossil fuel producers have been under pressure to reduce their carbon emissions.

The U.S. oil giant is not expected to publicly announce which DLE technology it has chosen.

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