The American-Made Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize is designed to find solutions that de-risk and increase market viability for direct lithium extraction (DLE) from geothermal brines. Advancement of DLE technologies allow for improved methods that lower costs, lessen environmental impact, and further the mission to turn the threat of climate change into an opportunity to revitalize the U.S. energy and manufacturing sectors.
Lithium is a major component of high-charge-density batteries for electric vehicles and grid-scale electricity storage. It is expected that global demand for lithium will increase by 500% by 2050 due to widespread adoption of electric vehicles and grid-scale battery storage, making lithium supplies a crucial element in the clean energy supply chain.
The current U.S. lithium stock is almost entirely imported, with only 1% of U.S. lithium supply being sourced domestically. Furthermore, traditional sources of lithium are environmentally destructive. This combination of rapidly expanding global demand and lack of a safe, domestic supply has created an urgency to develop a safe, domestic, cost-competitive source of lithium to ensure American leadership in the transition to a carbon-free economy and a robust domestic supply chain.
The Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize consists of three phases that will fast-track efforts to identify, develop, and test disruptive solutions to improve the profitability of DLE from geothermal brines. Each stage will include a contest period when participants work to rapidly advance their solutions.
A reminder that your Phase 2 submission is due this Friday, April 29 by 5 p.m. ET. Please use the Phase 2 Submission Template and make sure your technical narrative addresses:
How has your team advanced a solution to the identified problem?
What progress have you made?
How do you plan to fabricate and test your solution?
If you experience technical difficulty uploading your submission, please reach out to the prize administrators as soon as possible at . We will be closely monitoring the inbox all week to help with submission uploads. However, we do recommend submitting well before the 5 p.m. ET deadline on Friday.
The 15 teams listed below are moving on to Phase 2, each taking home $40,000 in cash prizes, along with a chance to win part of the $1.4 million Phase 2 prize pool.
All Phase 1 participants will receive judges’ comments within the next two weeks. For those teams selected to move on to Phase 2, please check your email for your next steps and stay tuned to register for the Phase 2 Rules Webinar.
If you experience technical difficulty uploading your submission, please reach out to the prize administrators as soon as possible at GeoLithiumExtraction@nrel.gov. We will be closely monitoring the inbox all day to help with submission uploads. However, we do recommend submitting well before the 5 p.m. ET deadline.
Interested in learning more about the prize? Check out the Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize featured in Battery Power Magazine.
We can’t wait to see your exciting Phase 1 solutions—good luck!
The Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize Phase 1 submission deadline is next Thursday, Sept. 2, at 5 p.m. ET. We highly recommend submitting all required materials ahead of time to avoid a missed deadline due to network failure or long upload time.
As a reminder, here are the required components of your submission:
Yes, but it’s quick and easy. Just click the “Solve this Challenge” button on this page and follow the instructions to complete your registration. All you need to provide is your name and email address.
Innovation is about making ideas happen. The American-Made Network will accelerate and sustain innovation through a diverse and powerful network that includes national laboratories, energy incubators, facilities, and other valuable industry partners from across the U.S. who will engage, connect, mentor, and boost the efforts of Geothermal Lithium Extraction competitors.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the Prize Administrator for the American-Made Challenges. In this capacity NREL works closely with the U.S. Department of Energy to administer the challenges, maintain the website platform, assist in building the network, and pay prize money to the winning teams.
All of your files are uploaded as part of the submission form, access this by clicking the Begin Entry button. The submission form contains an upload option for each of the required file entries. Only PDF files will be accepted for upload.
Make your own public-facing one-slide submission summary that contains technically specific details but can be understood by most people. There is no template so feel free to present the information as you see fit. Please make any text readable in a standard printout and conference room projection.
The summary slide must be uploaded as a PDF document. Please be sure that you export or save your slide as a PDF prior to uploading.
An individual prize participant (who is not competing as a member of a group) must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident affiliated with an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
A group of individuals, competing as one competitor team, may win, provided that the online account holder of the submission is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident and all group members are affiliated with an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
Groups competing as a team do not need all members to be affiliated with the same institution of higher education.
Furthermore, all official team members must be currently affiliated with an accredited U.S. institution of higher education. Affiliation with an institution for the purposes of this prize competition is limited to (1) Faculty associated with an institute who are currently teaching or part of active research (2) Students currently enrolled at an institution.
Please see the official rules for full eligibility requirements.