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Sizing Up the Challenges in Extracting Lithium from Geothermal Brine

For geothermal fields around the world, produced geothermal brine has been simply injected back underground, but now it’s become clear that the brines produced at the Salton Sea geothermal field contain an immense amount of lithium, a critical resource need for low-carbon transportation and energy storage. Demand for lithium is skyrocketing, as it is an essential ingredient in lithium-ion batteries. Currently there is very little lithium production in the U.S. and most lithium is imported; however, that may change in the near future.

Big Batteries on Wheels Can Deliver Zero-Emissions Rail While Securing the Grid

The recent dramatic decline in battery prices has created a new possibility for electrification of freight trains. Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, collaborating with UCLA and UC Berkeley researchers, make the case that the U.S. can retrofit diesel-electric trains with batteries in a way that is cost-competitive with diesel. Doing so would avoid up to 1,000 premature deaths and save the U.S. freight rail sector $94 billion over 20 years from reduced air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.

Turning Up the Heat: Thermal Energy Storage Could Play Major Role in Decarbonizing Buildings

Could a tank of ice or hot water be a battery? Yes! If a battery is a device for storing energy, then storing hot or cold water to power a building’s heating or air-conditioning system is a different type of energy storage. Known as thermal energy storage, the technology has been around for a long time but has often been overlooked. Now scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are making a concerted push to take thermal energy storage to the next level.

New Technique Improves Conversion of Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuels

Researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have demonstrated how coating copper catalysts with thin films can improve a standard technique for converting carbon dioxide emissions into useful chemicals and liquid fuels.

Department of Energy Awards Berkeley Lab’s Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument Its Prestigious Project Management Excellence Award

The DESI project team was awarded DOE’s 2020 Project Management Excellence Award. The IGB also received a Project Management Achievement Award.

Stronger, Lighter, Better: Nanotwinned Titanium Forges Path to Sustainable Manufacturing

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have developed a cheap and efficient way to produce pure titanium metal. Their approach is scalable for commercial production, and produces an easily recycled product.

New Technique Paves the Way for Perfect Perovskites

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and the Technical University of Munich have developed a new technique that allows researchers to synthesize a perovskite solar material and test its performance at the same time.

Cracking Open Strong Field Quantum Electrodynamics

Berkeley Lab’s researchers’ unique capabilities aided international effort to probe fundamental questions in physics

Jay Keasling Receives Distinguished Scientist Fellow Award

The renowned synthetic biologist will be given $1 million in funding to support bioenergy and bioproduct innovation.

Two Berkeley Lab Scientists Appointed to President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

Astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter and climate scientist Inez Fung, both scientists at Berkeley Lab, have been appointed to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), the White House announced today.