As the world moves to cleaner energy, demand for Lithium has been steadily increasing. The element has widespread application in batteries and is widely used in consumer products and electric cars. Since the demand for Lithium is likely to only go up in the future, as the number of electric cars and gadgets steadily increases, there is a scare about insufficient sources, which may not even last very long into the future. Moreover, the conventional process of sourcing lithium is very water intensive, and that of course isn’t a good thing. The situation though, may be quite different with the new process developed by Simbol Mining.
Simbol intends to source lithium from water extracted for geothermal energy. The water is mostly discarded, but a lot of sources may have lithium rich water, and Simbol intends to use the same to produce the element. The company has planned a pilot project for California’s lithium-rich underground Salton Sea. It is already used for geothermal energy, and nearly a ton of lithium could be extracted from the water every month.
Heat from the water greatly helps the process, making it less water intensive. If all goes well, Simbol has big plans that include supplying nearly a quarter of the world’s demand of Lithium Carbonate within the decade.