Research Sheds Light on Lithium-rich Brines in Shale Plays

Research, including at the University of Houston, pushes forward in the quest to add U.S. shale plays as a sustainable and substantial source of lithium.

Research Sheds Light on Lithium-Rich Brines in Shale Plays

(Source: Hart Energy, Shutterstock.com)

As the energy transition pushes the world to decarbonize and slow climate change, demand for rechargeable batteries that power electric vehicles is expected to surge.

Problem is lithium, a key ingredient in batteries, remains in high demand with limited available supply on the market—crippled today by supply chain bottlenecks and environmental concerns regarding extraction as companies work to bring new mines online.

The U.S. is home to only one lithium mine, but some of the country’s most prolific oil- and gas-producing shale plays could play a role in changing that. Blessed by geology, shale reservoirs are also home to the highly sought-after critical energy transition metal, which has shown up amongst others metals in wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, researchers say.

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Velda Addison

Velda Addison is the senior editor of digital media for Hart Energy’s editorial team. She covers energy with a focus on renewables.