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.
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.
Berkeley Lab has been awarded more than $13 million for five research projects that will accelerate the development of advanced lithium batteries and smart, connected vehicles, making it easier to switch to electric vehicles.
Berkeley Lab team combines thermal and electrochemistry expertise to make battery testing cheaper and faster.
In our future electrified world, the demand for battery storage is projected to be enormous, reaching to upwards of 2 to 10 terawatt-hours (TWh) of annual battery production by 2030, from less than 0.5 TWh today. However, concerns are growing as to whether key raw materials will be adequate to meet this future demand.
An international team working at Berkeley Lab used a unique X-ray instrument to learn new things about lithium-rich battery materials that have been the subject of much study for their potential to extend the range of electric vehicles and the operation of electronic devices.
A research team led by Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry has developed a lithium-selective polymer membrane that could allow high-voltage battery cells to operate at higher power and more efficiently, important factors for both electric vehicles and aircraft.
One of the aspects of lithium-ion batteries least understood by scientists has now been elucidated by a new research approach, opening the door to major improvements in battery performance, according to a new study by Berkeley Lab scientists. Their study, recently published in the journal Joule, used a technique developed by Berkeley Lab battery scientists
Berkeley Lab has appointed Noël Bakhtian, previously a senior policy adviser in the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) and currently director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) at Idaho National Laboratory, as its inaugural director of the Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Center.
Deep beneath the surface of the Salton Sea, a shallow lake in California’s Imperial County, sits an immense reserve of critical metals that, if unlocked, could power the state’s green economy for years to come. These naturally occurring metals are dissolved in geothermal brine, a byproduct of geothermal energy production. Now the race is on to develop technology to efficiently extract one of the most valuable metals from the brine produced by the geothermal plants near the Salton Sea: lithium.