RECLAIM: Electrochemical Lithium and Nickel Extraction with Concurrent Carbon Dioxide Mineralization

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Arlington, Texas
Project Term:
01/18/2023 - 05/31/2023

Technology Description:

The University of Texas at Arlington will develop two technologies to produce lithium (Li) and nickel (Ni) from CO2-reactive minerals and rocks that contain calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg), while sequestering CO2 in the form of carbonate solids (calcium carbonate, or CaCO3; magnesium carbonate, or MgCO3; and variants thereof). The technologies, acoustic stimulation and electrolytic proton production, use electricity to liberate valuable metal ions from the surrounding mineral matrix at sub-boiling temperatures (~20-80°C). Feedstocks will include Li, Ca, Mg-rich igneous and sedimentary minerals and Ni ores enriched in Mg-rich serpentine. In the first step, electrolytic breakdown of water will be induced to simultaneously produce acidity and alkalinity. The solid feedstocks will be dissolved in the acidic anolyte under acoustic stimulation. The proposed technology enables net carbon-negative mining that is cost-effective without any need to rely on carbon taxes, penalties, or credits.

Potential Impact:

The MINER program aims to use the reactive potential of CO2-reactive ore materials to decrease mineral processing energy and increase the yield of energy-relevant minerals via novel negative emission technologies.


MINER metrics meet the U.S. need for net-zero, commercial-ready technologies that provide energy-relevant minerals for economic and national security.


In addition to demonstrating carbon negativity, the proposed technologies will quantify and reduce our impact on environmental and human health by addressing ecotoxicity, acidification of air, smog, water pollution, and more.


MINER metrics specify increasing the yield of energy-relevant minerals by reducing unrecovered energy-relevant minerals in tailings in by 50% compared with state of the art.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Douglas Wicks
Project Contact:
Prof. Erika La Plante
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


University of California, Los Angeles

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