Unconventional water sources may be the key to powering America’s lithium energy demands

Schematic showing that the creation of Li solid solution phases in the olivine iron phosphate via seeding can raise the Na intercalation barrier and promote Li selectivity. Credit: Courtesy of Liu Group

As industries across the country begin the transition to renewable energy, the demand for batteries, and therefore lithium, is projected to rise dramatically. But, with much of the global lithium supply located outside of the United States, researchers are looking for new techniques to extract it from local, if somewhat unconventional, sources such as petroleum wastewater and geothermal brines.

One of the most promising of these extraction techniques …

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