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Judi Lynn

(161,314 posts)
Wed May 29, 2024, 12:26 AM May 29

40% of US lithium needs could come from unlikely source in Pennsylvania

By Michael Franco
May 15, 2024

Runoff from fracking operations is not usually considered a good thing, but a new finding reveals it could be a source of a very valuable metalDALL-E

Thanks to the increase of electric vehicles and other battery-using technologies, the demand for lithium is expected to skyrocket in the coming years. One odd but potent source of the metal is a Pennsylvania wastewater stream, says a new study.

As we've reported previously, based on current demand, the world is going to need about 59 new lithium mines hauling out 45,000 tonnes of the metal by 2035. The silvery metal is a key component of rechargeable batteries which are powering seemingly everything these days from countertop ice cube makers to freight ships.

Due to the growing demand for lithium, researchers are developing quicker ways to harvest it from the brine pits which, along with more traditional mines, are a primary source of the element. They are also looking in other places for sources of the material.

One of those places is a wastewater stream produced as a result of a fracking operation outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There, operators of the Marcellus shale gas wells need to report levels of certain materials in the wastewater to regulators. Because the reports must mention lithium levels, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh were able to conduct an analysis that showed that if a technique could be developed that would remove 100% of the lithium from the wastewater, about 40% of America's demand for the metal could be met.


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40% of US lithium needs could come from unlikely source in Pennsylvania (Original Post) Judi Lynn May 29 OP
sounds even better than my pet solution- coal ash. mopinko May 29 #1
That photo isn't real. progressoid May 29 #2


(70,892 posts)
1. sounds even better than my pet solution- coal ash.
Wed May 29, 2024, 06:45 AM
May 29

refining our waste instead of dumping it is something folks smarter than i have been saying for a long time. i believe there was money for coal ash in bbb.
but this is even better. already in solution. shd b able to refine w gravity. a simple chromatography column.

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