Lithium might seem like an unlikely object for the limelight, but those steeped in the mineral commodities market are not surprised. The need for lithium has grown exponentially in recent years. It plays a vital role in our high-tech world, particularly with rechargeable lithium batteries, which drive the growing market for portable electronic devices, electric tools, vehicles, and grid storage solutions.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has expanded the eligibility requirements and set new deadlines for its Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize. The Prize, funded by DOE’s Geothermal Technologies Office and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is designed to advance technologies that improve the economics and minimize environmental impacts of lithium extraction from geothermal brines. Participants compete in three escalating challenges to identify, develop, and test solutions for an opportunity to win a portion of the $4 million cash prize pool. REGISTER for a webinar on Monday, June 28 at 1 p.m. ET to learn more.
The blueprint lays out five critical goals and key actions to guide federal agency collaboration to secure the nation’s long-term economic competitiveness and create good-paying jobs for American workers, while supporting the Biden Administration’s decarbonization goals.
FCAB National Blueprint Lithium Batteries 0621.pdf
By binding specific ions in specially designed cages within its pores, a new membrane could enable more efficient flows in energy storage devices (an article featuring LiRRICs Brett Helms and his team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory).
Also read Nature’s article, Diversity-oriented synthesis of polymer membranes with ion solvation cages.
Electric cars require a lot of lithium. A showdown in Nevada shows that getting it won’t be easy.
There’s no way around the fact that the U.S. needs lots of lithium to decarbonize its economy. Thus, according to Michael Whittaker, a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Lithium Resource Research and Innovation Center, it’s vitally important that we address the environmental issues posed by lithium mining.
Scientists in the Energy Geosciences Division are contributing to research sponsored by the DOE Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) investigating the potential extraction of lithium, rare earth elements, and other critical minerals that are dissolved constituents of hot geothermal brines that are used to produce electricity.