Calif. Company Wants Geothermal Energy To Help Power Cars
Geothermal energy may not have a huge place in the alternative energy market of the Northwest, but it’s big business near the Salton Sea in California.
Geothermal energy could help power the electric cars of the future. A California-based company called Simbol Materials is building a lithium extraction facility on the shores of California’s Salton Sea. Lithium is a key mineral used in high capacity batteries that power electric cars such as the Toyota Prius, the Chevy Volt, and the new Tesla. The process is simple: take hot water from the inland lake, use the heat for geothermal power generation, extract lithium and other rare minerals, and return the water to the lake. The facility will help reduce salinity in the lake, while at the same time use the abundant geothermal resources below the lake’s surface to produce electricity. The market for lithium is expected to expand considerably, now that Tesla Motors has embarked on a $5 billion lithium battery production complex, one of the largest battery factories in the world. Aloha, Russ.
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