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New Lithium-Extraction Technology Attracts Investors. But Is It Viable?

New Lithium-Extraction Technology Attracts Investors. But Is It Viable?
Copyright  Christie Hemm Klok for The Wall Street Journal
By Dow Jones & Company

Lithium is a key component of rechargeable batteries, and developing domestic supply is seen as an important step in a broad push for the U.S. to transition to alternative energy sources. In February, the Biden administration unveiled plans to invest $2.9 billion to boost production of advanced batteries and strengthen the battery supply chain in the U.S., including the development of domestic supplies of lithium. Last month President Biden also invoked the Defense Protection Act to increase production of battery metals.

But newer, still-experimental lithium production and extraction methods that could help increase supplies, while attracting investors for their potential to speed up production and reduce the environmental impact compared with most current lithium-extraction methods, are so far unproven at large scale.

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