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40% of US lithium needs could come from unlikely source in Pennsylvania

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40% of US lithium needs could come from unlikely source in Pennsylvania


Thanks to the increase of electric vehicles and other battery-using technologies, the demand for lithium is expected to skyrocket in the coming years. One odd but potent source of the metal is a Pennsylvania wastewater stream, says a new study.

As we’ve reported previously, based on current demand, the world is going to need about 59 new lithium mines hauling out 45,000 tonnes of the metal by 2035. The silvery metal is a key component of rechargeable batteries which are powering seemingly everything these days from countertop ice cube makers to freight ships.

Due to the growing demand for lithium, researchers are developing quicker ways to harvest it from the brine pits which, along with more traditional mines, are a primary source of the element. They are also looking in other places for sources of the material.

One of those places is a wastewater stream produced as a result of a fracking operation outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There, operators of the Marcellus shale gas wells need to report levels of certain materials in the wastewater to regulators. Because the reports must mention lithium levels, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh were able to conduct an analysis that showed that if a technique could be developed that would remove 100% of the lithium from the wastewater, about 40% of America’s demand for the metal could be met.

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Currently, lithium can be removed from water with an efficiency rate of more than 90%, so the goal is not too far away.

And while the wastewater at these particular fracking mines is rich in lithium, they are not the only sources of Marcellus shale in the country. West Virginia could also be a rich source, say the researchers.

Because the US Geological survey has classified lithium as a critical mineral (technically an element), the government wants all lithium produced domestically by 2030. In terms of resource allocation, that would be an improvement over the current method which consists of extracting it from brine ponds in Chile, shipping it to China to be processed, and shipping it back to the States for use.

The next step for exploring the wastewater stream as a source of lithium is to analyze the environmental impacts of extracting it and to build a pilot plant to research and develop more efficient extraction techniques.

“Wastewater from oil and gas is a burgeoning issue,” says study lead author Justin Mackey. “Right now, it’s just minimally treated and reinjected.” However, he adds that developing better extraction techniques could provide serious value in turning a wastewater into something much more valuable. “It’s been dissolving rocks for hundreds of millions of years – essentially, the water has been mining the subsurface,” he says.

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A paper about the finding has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Source: University of Pittsburgh





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Pennsylvania

Bow hunting could start near Philly’s Somerton neighborhood this fall

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Bow hunting could start near Philly’s Somerton neighborhood this fall


From Philly and the Pa. suburbs to South Jersey and Delaware, what would you like WHYY News to cover? Let us know!

A newly acquired piece of property on the edge of Philadelphia will become Pennsylvania’s latest hunting grounds later this year.

The new state game lands are part of a recently acquired extension of Benjamin Rush State Park in the Somerton section of Philadelphia, near the city limits. The Pennsylvania Game Commission said a deer hunt will be conducted there.

“What we are doing is basically incorporating the 18 acres of state game lands that were recently acquired into their hunt program,” said Dustin Stoner with the PGC. “Their hunt program is highly regulated. They have a drawing and they select [a] few certain hunters to go in and harvest deer.”

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The hunt would be limited to archers who would use tree stands, giving them a better view up in the trees.

“So that when they discharge their crossbow or they use their bow and shoot an arrow, the arrow’s trajectory carries the arrow to the ground. You know, if it misses the target, then the arrow has a safe backstop,” Stoner said.



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Teen, Adult Man Hurt In Memorial Day Shooting: Philadelphia Police

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Teen, Adult Man Hurt In Memorial Day Shooting: Philadelphia Police


PHILADELPHIA — A teenage girl and an adult man were hurt in a double shooting on Memorial Day in Philadelphia, police said.

The shooting occurred at about 3:35 p.m. Monday on the 6300 block of Horrocks Street.

A 17-year-old girl suffered a bullet graze to her left leg and a 28-year-old man was shot in the right shoulder and the chest, police said.

Find out what’s happening in Philadelphiawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

They were taken to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital where both are in stable condition.

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Police said three people were taken into custody and two firearms were found.

Find out what’s happening in Philadelphiawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Anyone who has information on the shooting should contact Philadelphia Police at 215-686-8477.


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To request removal of your name from an arrest report, submit these required items to arrestreports@patch.com.



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Off-duty Pennsylvania State Police trooper arrested on burglary and aggravated assault charges

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Off-duty Pennsylvania State Police trooper arrested on burglary and aggravated assault charges


Off-duty trooper arrested on burglary and aggravated assault charges

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Off-duty trooper arrested on burglary and aggravated assault charges

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UNIONTOWN, Pa. (KDKA) — An off-duty Pennsylvania State Police trooper was arrested and charged with burglary and aggravated assault. 

Trooper James Stevenson was arrested in Fayette County this weekend. He is a trooper at the Uniontown Barracks and was off duty when the alleged incident happened. 

According to the criminal complaint, Stevenson went to a home on Oak Street in Connellsville just before 1 a.m. on Sunday. He found, according to police, a woman getting ready to have sex with another man. Investigators said that the woman is Stevenson’s girlfriend, but she tells KDKA that the two were broken up at the time the incident took place. 

The complaint said Stevenson jumped on top of the man and started hitting him. The woman, according to the complaint, was able to get out of the way.         

She allegedly told police that Stevenson was “beating” the man’s face. He then grabbed the woman by the shoulders and told he to get dressed, according to the complaint. She got into her car and left. She was not hurt.

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According to the criminal complaint, the victim’s father found his son in bed unconscious. 

Outside the home, police said the victim’s father confronted Stevenson, reaching through his driver-side window to grab him. Stevenson then allegedly opened the door, knocking the man to the ground and breaking his glasses. 

The victim was treated at a local hospital for cuts and bruises to his face and a broken nose, the criminal complaint said. He declined an interview with KDKA-TV on Monday. 

State police in Waynesburg filed charges. A source told KDKA-TV that Stevenson was arraigned and is out on bond and unpaid leave from work. The Fayette County district attorney had no comment on this case. KDKA-TV reached out to state police but no comment yet. 

KDKA-TV also learned that Stevenson filed a discrimination lawsuit against state police and several supervisors at the Chambersburg Barracks in 2022. That lawsuit is still active.

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