Explore the Potential of Geothermal in Developing Domestic Sources of Lithium
Check out an outstanding new resource recently unveiled by the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), available on the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) website!
A new Lithium StoryMap lays out the relationship between geothermal energy and lithium while exploring why the DOE is investing in technologies supporting lithium extraction from geothermal brines. Using an easily digestible format, visitors can scroll through the role of lithium in renewable energy today, how the critical material is currently obtained, and why the Salton Sea region of California may prove to be a key domestic source — with a little help from geothermal energy. As lithium demand continues to grow, geothermal energy may soon play a greater role in our lives and in the green economy.
Learn more about GTO and DOE’s activities related to lithium:
A relatively rare element, lithium is a soft, light metal, found in rocks and subsurface fluids called brines. It is the major ingredient in the rechargeable batteries found in your phone, hybrid cars, electric bikes, and even large, grid-scale storage batteries.
As a “critical mineral” necessary for rechargeable electric batteries, lithium has been identified as a material essential to the economic or national security of the United States. Researchers have been exploring how geothermal brines brought up to the Earth’s surface as part of geothermal power production may ALSO be a critical resource for future lithium supply.
Lithium Deep Dives
Because of the critical importance of lithium, the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) is investing in research and development to support lithium extraction from geothermal brines in a variety of ways — and federal investment doesn’t stop there.
Explore the many resources available on lithium below.
- Geothermal Lithium Storymap
- Geothermal Lithium Extraction Prize
- Fact Sheet: Identifying Geothermal Resources in Western United States
Department of Energy Resources
- Alternative Fuels Data Center
- American-Made Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Prize
- How Lithium-ion Batteries Work
- Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub
- National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries
- Vehicle Technologies Office — Batteries
Courtesy of Energy.gov.
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