Houston-based KBR taps new partnership for global zero-emission lithium technology

Houston-headquartered KBR is working on a new alliance for lithium extraction. Photo via

A Houston engineering solutions company has teamed up with a company to advance zero-emission lithium extraction technology.

KBR (NYSE: KBR) has signed an alliance agreement with France-based GeoLith SAS to offer its advanced Direct Lithium Extraction (DLE) technology, Li-Capt, which allows for zero-emission lithium extraction from untapped sources like oil well brines and geothermal.

"We are excited to collaborate with GeoLith to pioneer advancements in accessing currently untapped sources of lithium to meet the world's increasing lithium-ion battery demand,” KBR President Jay Ibrahim says in a news release. “This alliance supports the global transition towards electrification and reinforces our commitment to a net-zero carbon future. As a world leader in evaporation and crystallization technologies, KBR is well positioned to provide end-to-end solutions essential to the development of sustainable mobility."

Per the agreement, KBR will serve as the exclusive global licensor of GeoLith's Li-Capt technology. The Li-Capt tech helps produce pure lithium concentrate and is adaptable to brine compositions and extraction sources. KBR already boasts an existing suite of battery material technologies like PureLiSM, which is a high purity lithium production technology. The combination of the two technologies aim to provide clients with solutions to produce battery-grade lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide monohydrate. Those are key components for advanced batteries in electric vehicles.

“The transition to electrification requires strong partnerships across the value chain, and we are proud to work with KBR to advance and commercialize our technology on a global scale," Jean-Philippe Gibaud, CEO of GeoLith SAS, says in the release. "Our Li-Capt technology ensures zero-emission lithium extraction, enabling the production of lithium concentrates from a process technology that achieves unparalleled levels of extraction efficiency and lithium selectivity."

KBR was recently awarded a contract by First State Hydrogen, which is building an electrolysis-powered green hydrogen production project. The study is part of First State Hydrogen's plan to provide clean energy to Delaware and the U.S. mid-Atlantic region. Additionally, KBR’s K-GreeN technology has been selected by a group of organizations — including Lotte Chemical, KNOC (Korea National Oil Corp), and Samsung Engineering — for the Sarawak, Malaysia-based H2biscus green ammonia project being developed by Lotte Chemical. The K-GreeN is a proprietary green ammonia development process. According to the company, KBR has licensed, engineered, or constructed over 250 ammonia plants since its founding in 1943.

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A View From HETI

Grace Rodriguez (left) and Juliana Garaizar have partnered up — along with their teams — to collaborate on the Equitable Energy Transition Alliance and Lab. Photos courtesy

A group of Houston's innovation and energy leaders teamed up to establish an initiative supporting equitability in the energy transition.

Impact Hub Houston, a nonprofit incubator and ecosystem builder, partnered with Energy Tech Nexus to establish the Equitable Energy Transition Alliance and Lab to accelerate startup pilots for underserved communities. The initiative announced that it's won the 2024 U.S. Small Business Administration Growth Accelerator Fund Competition, or GAFC, Stage One award.

"We are incredibly honored to be recognized by the SBA alongside our esteemed partners at Energy Tech Nexus," Grace Rodriguez, co-founder and executive director of Impact Hub Houston, says in a news release. "This award validates our shared commitment to building a robust innovation ecosystem in Houston, especially for solutions that advance the Sustainable Development Goals at the critical intersections of industry, innovation, sustainability, and reducing inequality."

The GAFC award, which honors and supports small business research and development, provides $50,000 prize to its winners. The Houston collaboration aligns with the program's theme area of Sustainability and Biotechnology.

“This award offers us a great opportunity to amplify the innovations of Houston’s clean energy and decarbonization pioneers,” adds Juliana Garaizar, founding partner of the Energy Tech Nexus. “By combining Impact Hub Houston’s entrepreneurial resources with Energy Tech Nexus’ deep industry expertise, we can create a truly transformative force for positive change.”

Per the release, Impact Hub Houston and Energy Tech Nexus will use the funding to recruit new partners, strengthen existing alliances, and host impactful events and programs to help sustainable startups access pilots, contracts, and capital to grow.

"SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition Stage One winners join the SBA’s incredible network of entrepreneurial support organizations contributing to America’s innovative startup ecosystem, ensuring the next generation of science and technology-based innovations scale into thriving businesses," says U.S. SBA Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman.


This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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