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Quantifying California’s Lithium Valley: Can It Power Our EV Revolution?

The Salton Sea geothermal field in California potentially holds enough lithium to meet all of America’s domestic battery needs, with even enough left over to export some of it. But how much of that lithium can be extracted in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way? And how long will the resource last? These are just a few of the questions that researchers hope to answer in a new project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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Jan 19: Critical Minerals and Materials Town Hall

A Lab wide town hall was held on January 19th, 2022 to prepare LBNL for multiple upcoming funding calls likely to cover topics specified in the DOE Critical Mineral and Materials Strategy and the FCAB Battery Blueprint. Topics included previous lab wide CMM efforts, new and emerging areas of interest in CMM, and sustaining an LBL vision for CMM.

Note: presentation viewable by LBL staff only. For questions, please email

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Improved quantification of Li at Lithium Valley

With the growth of the electrical vehicle market and the increasing demand for battery energy storage with the rapid expansion of intermittent renewable energy sources, the need for reliable, abundant, and domestic sources of Li is becoming more critical. One resource that has been identified for decades but has not been commercially exploited to date is Li in geothermal brines. The Salton Sea geothermal field taps into hypersaline (>200,000 ppm TDS) brines with elevated (200-300 ppm) Li concentrations.

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