October 3, 2022
September 27, 2022
CALIPATRIA, Calif. (AP) – Near the dying Salton Sea in Southern California, a canopy next to a geothermal power plant covers large vats of salt water left behind after drilling a very hot liquid in the basement to operate steam turbines. The tubs connect to tubes that spit out what looks like dishwater, but it’s lithium, a critical component of rechargeable batteries and the newest hope for economic recovery in the depressed region.
Demand for electric vehicles has shifted investment into high gear to extract lithium from brine, salt water that has been neglected and pumped underground since the region’s first geothermal power plant opened in 1982. The A mineral-rich by-product can now be more valuable than the steam used to generate electricity.
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