Speaker to discuss hydrogeosciences' role in transition to green energy

David Boutt, professor at the University of Massachusetts, will talk about the role hydrogeosciences can play in the transition from fossil fuels to green energy on May 9. Credit: Provided by David BouttAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – David Boutt, of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will speak at Penn State on the role that hydrogeosciences can play in the transition from fossil fuels to green energy.

Boutt, associate professor of geology, will talk from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 9, in 112 Walker Building. The event is free and open to the public.

His presentation, titled “Water and lithium — the nexus of hdrogeosciences and green energy in the transition from fossil fuels,” is part of the Earth Talks series sponsored by Penn State’s Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI).

He will discuss the environmental impacts of lithium brine pumping, in context of balancing the sustainability of lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries are emerging as portable and powerful energy storage technology in efforts to replace or reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Lithium is abundant on Earth, but rarely found in concentrations high enough to be economically useful. The element does exist in those concentrations in pegmatite and closed-basin continental brines.

Boutt's talk with include the multi-faceted role groundwater plays in transporting, accumulating and extracting lithium from continental brines — an important interface between hydrogeology, economic geology and green energy supplies.

The Institutes of Energy and the Environment and the Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center are providing support for Boutt’s visit.

His talk is the second in EESI’s Earth Talks series. Brian Schwartz, professor at Johns Hopkins University and senior investigator in the Department of Epidemiology and Health Services Research at Geisinger, will speak health data related to Marcellus Shale development at 4 p.m. Monday, May 7, in 112 Walker Building.

Last Updated May 02, 2018