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Characterizing the Geothermal Lithium Resource at the Salton Sea

Characterizing the Geothermal Lithium Resource at the Salton Sea

Full Title: Characterizing the Geothermal Lithium Resource at the Salton Sea
Author(s): Patrick Dobson, Naod Araya, Maryjo Brounce, Margaret Busse, Mary Kay Camarillo, Lauren English, Jennifer Humphreys, Boriana Kalderon-Asael, Michael McKibben, Dev Millstein, Nori Nakata, John O'Sullivan, Noah Planavsky, Joris Popineau, Theo Renaud, Jeremy Riffault, Margaret Slattery, Eric Sonnenthal, Nicolas Spycher, Jennifer Stokes-Draut, William Stringfellow, and Malcom White
Publisher(s): Berkeley Lab
Publication Date: November 22, 2023
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

The energy transition towards a more sustainable and renewable future is a pivotal global endeavor. Central to this shift for the United States is the critical role of domestically sourced lithium, a key mineral in the production of high-performance batteries essential for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage systems. This has driven the United States to invest heavily in a domestic supply chain for battery-grade lithium to enhance energy security, reduce supply chain vulnerabilities, and foster economic growth by tapping into local resources. The “Salton Sea Known Geothermal Resource Area” in Imperial County, California has been identified as a potential domestic U.S. resource of lithium due to the brine-hosted lithium in the deep subsurface geothermal reservoir.

The report considers potential impacts on regional water resources, air quality, chemical use, and solid waste disposal needs, as well as the seismic risk associated with geothermal power production and lithium extraction activity. In addition to technical outcomes from the analysis, the report describes an initial effort to incorporate community engagement into lithium research by understanding the local context and priorities and identifying how to effectively communicate to share information and gather feedback. The report provides recommendations about how future research efforts can address community concerns and implement more community-engaged practices. These include developing formal partnerships with local organizations and establishing a community advisory board to facilitate ongoing dialogue and opportunities for feedback.

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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