Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Advisor 1

Nathan Manser

Committee Member 1

John Gierke

Committee Member 2

Luke Bowman


In the global transition to green energy in the transportation and power production sectors, lithium has emerged as a viable solution, and crucial component, for the effective storage of renewable resources. To avoid further degradation of the land due to mining for virgin material, methods focused on recovering lithium must be developed. This research project seeks to explore a new way to recover lithium by using the bacterium Paenibacillus polymyxa. The bacteria were grown and then applied to the lithium bearing mineral spodumene. Settling velocity profiles were constructed for different treatments of spodumene. It was found that the spodumene exposed to P. polymyxa had a slower settling velocity profile compared to unexposed spodumene. This result implies that the bacterium successfully adhered to spodumene and easier recovery of the mineral from waste material is possible.