Feb 10, 2023

KAUST startup Lihytech raises $6 Million for lithium extraction from seawater

Posted by in categories: finance, sustainability, transportation

Saudi Arabian mining company Ma’aden, together with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Innovation Ventures Fund, are investing $6 million USD into Lithium Infinity (Lihytech). The KAUST startup’s battery-grade lithium will be a key component in driving the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to developing the entire value chain of electric vehicles (EVs).

Lihytech has patented a membrane-based lithium extraction technology developed by Professor Zhiping Lai at KAUST. The innovative technology can extract the alkali metal from sources such as seawater, brine, red mud and more. Based on KAUST research, the startup was funded through the KAUST Near Term Grand Challenge, a research translation program, and the technology is being developed on the campus.

This investment will take the technology from lab to commercial pilot scale. Ma’aden is leading the investment with $4 million and KAUST Innovation Ventures is investing $2 million. The University’s venture capital arm, KAUST Innovation Ventures, supports deep tech startups that look to offer solutions to pressing scientific and technological challenges, such as lithium extraction. Lihytech will use the infusion of capital to build a pilot facility at KAUST to extract lithium from the Red Sea and other in-Kingdom resources.

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