DOE Researches Lithium, Other Valuable Material Recovery From Water
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have conducted a study on extracting critical materials from water to support the clean energy supply chain. With limited resources required for batteries, catalysts, nuclear reactors, and other carbon-free energy technologies, alternative methods are being explored. Traditional mining techniques for lithium, a key element in electric vehicles, consume significant amounts of water and generate emissions. The Argonne team has investigated various water sources, including the ocean, groundwater aquifers, geothermal brines, and wastewater, as potential reservoirs for valuable materials. They aim to identify the most cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and sustainable ways to extract lithium and other materials from water sources. The research also focuses on accelerating the evaporation of water to access materials more efficiently. Additionally, the Argonne Lab is working on developing alternatives to lithium batteries to promote more eco-friendly options for the green energy sector and contribute to a circular economy of materials.