Partnership Explores Carbon Storage In Leftover Lithium Mining Materials

Oct. 13, 2023
The aim is to capture carbon and store it in waste products by two mechanisms: chemical sequestration and physical sequestration.

Nevada Gold Mines Professor Pengbo Chu is collaborating with Lithium Americas, a chemical production company, to investigate the potential for using leftover material from lithium mining to store carbon, according to an article in Nevada Today. Lithium Americas aims to extract and process lithium in northern Nevada to produce pure lithium carbonate.

“We're in the carbon reduction business by virtue of the product we make,” said Tim Crowley, vice president of Government Affairs and Community Relations at Lithium Americas. “[The lithium] is designed to be put into batteries to help bring down carbon emissions. We should do everything we possibly can to make sure our carbon footprint is as low as possible while we're making this product. It just doesn't make sense for the battery industry to be a big carbon emitter in the pursuit of bringing down carbon emissions.”

Chu's project seeks to mitigate the carbon emissions associated with lithium production by capturing carbon dioxide in the waste generated during the mining and processing of lithium-bound clay. The project will employ both chemical and physical methods to sequester carbon. The magnesium silicate-rich clay found at the mining site provides suitable material for carbon storage.

Read the full article in Nevada Today.

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