Lithium Beneath the Salton Sea

Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory is leading a research project to profile the concentration of lithium in the geothermal field beneath California’s Salton Sea, and to explore the most environmentally benign way to extract it.

Brine from the geothermal field is already pumped to the surface to generate geothermal power, and recirculated back underground. Lithium could be extracted from brine before it is pumped underground. Eleven geothermal plants are now operating in the Salton Sea, which Berkeley Lab describes as “pilot” operations.