Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 2:00pm-3:00pm (Pacific Time)

TITLE: LiRRIC Year 1 Capstone Seminar: The Science of Unlocking Lithium for American Battery Manufacturing

President Biden has prioritized renewable power sources such as solar photovoltaic to advance the electrification of transportation and achieve ambitious climate goals. Demand for lithium-based batteries is increasing exponentially due to the growth of electric vehicle adoption, and renewables penetration relies on grid-scale energy storage that can also be satisfied by large scale lithium-based battery deployment if supply chains remain stable and cheap. However, lithium supply is currently lagging demand and the projected lithium production from all major sources will fall even further behind unless unconventional sources are unlocked. America has vast unconventional sources of lithium, including geothermal brines, claystones, and spent batteries. In this talk, I will draw on the first-hand perspectives of experts across the lithium supply chain as presented by speakers in the LiRRIC seminar series to summarize the current state of the lithium landscape, and how LBL is poised to power the resource-to-recharge revolution.


Mike Whittaker is a research scientist in the Energy Geoscience Division (EGD) in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area (EESA) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) and an affiliate in the department of Earth and Planetary Science (EPS) at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). He received BS/MS degrees from the University of Utah in Materials Science and Engineering in 2012, and Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Materials Science and Engineering in 2017 with advisor Derk Joester. Mike worked as a postdoc in the nanogeoscience group in EGD from 2017-2020 with Benjamin Gilbert and with Jill Banfield at UCB. He is the cofounder of LiRRIC, the Lithium Resource Research and Innovation Center at LBL.