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For geothermal fields around the world, produced geothermal brine has been simply injected back underground, but now it’s become clear that the brines produced at the Salton Sea geothermal field contain an immense amount of lithium, a critical resource need for low-carbon transportation and energy storage. Demand for lithium is skyrocketing, as it is an essential ingredient in lithium-ion batteries. Currently there is very little lithium production in the U.S. and most lithium is imported; however, that may change in the near future.

News Release

Big Batteries on Wheels Can Deliver Zero-Emissions Rail While Securing the Grid

November 23rd, 2021

The recent dramatic decline in battery prices has created a new possibility for electrification of freight trains. Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, collaborating with UCLA and UC Berkeley researchers, make the case that the U.S. can retrofit diesel-electric trains with batteries in a way that is cost-competitive with diesel. Doing so would avoid up to 1,000 premature deaths and save the U.S. freight rail sector $94 billion over 20 years from reduced air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.

News Release

Turning Up the Heat: Thermal Energy Storage Could Play Major Role in Decarbonizing Buildings

November 18th, 2021

Could a tank of ice or hot water be a battery? Yes! If a battery is a device for storing energy, then storing hot or cold water to power a building’s heating or air-conditioning system is a different type of energy storage. Known as thermal energy storage, the technology has been around for a long time but has often been overlooked. Now scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are making a concerted push to take thermal energy storage to the next level.

News Release

New Technique Improves Conversion of Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuels

November 17th, 2021

Researchers at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have demonstrated how coating copper catalysts with thin films can improve a standard technique for converting carbon dioxide emissions into useful chemicals and liquid fuels.

Feature Story

Methane’s Short Lifespan Presents Golden Opportunity to Quickly Address Climate Change

November 10th, 2021

A Q&A with a Berkeley Lab scientist on how a comprehensive low-cost, high-tech approach to pinpointing California super emitters could bring about rapid methane emissions reduction within a decade.

Feature Story

Berkeley Lab Honored with Three R&D 100 Awards

November 8th, 2021

Three technologies from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have won a 2021 R&D 100 award, representing innovations for memory and logic chips, next-generation batteries, and radiation detection and mapping. 

Feature Story

Department of Energy Awards Berkeley Lab’s Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument Its Prestigious Project Management Excellence Award

October 28th, 2021

The DESI project team was awarded DOE’s 2020 Project Management Excellence Award. The IGB also received a Project Management Achievement Award.