Simbol Mines First Round to Extract Lithium from Geothermal

The shift to more electric vehicles on the roads means we’ll need more lithium to make batteries. And companies with innovative ways to mine the metal could end up being hot commodities themselves. Monday morning, lithium extraction startup Simbol Mining is announcing that it’s raised $6.7 million in its first round of funding from Mohr Davidow (MDV) and Firelake Capital. The funding will be used to continue development of its process for mining lithium from the brine of geothermal hotspots, which the Houston, Texas-based company says is the lowest cost way to extract lithium.

We first heard of Simbol Mining when the company won the “most promising technology” award from the Cleantech Forum earlier this year. That’s when MDV partner Josh Green also noticed the company, too, and started working on the funding soon afterward. (Green is also one of the large number of cleantech investors we previously noted have backed Obama.) Green says he funded the company because Simbol not only has the cheapest way to produce lithium carbonate used for electric vehicle batteries, but also because it offers a cleaner approach to extraction than the methods traditionally used.
Read More about Simbol Mines First Round to Extract Lithium from Geothermal

JK gadget bag updated

Whenever the contents of my daily gadget bag changes I try to remember to post it here on jkOnTheRun and a recent post on fellow Houstonian Kent Newsome’s blog reminded me it was time to update my daily kit.  Here is what I now carry with me daily in my Boa Booq XS backpack:

Samsung Q1 SSD– my daily workhorse.  I am taking notes all day on the Q1 with OneNote 2007 and when I am at a desk I use the Q1 as a mini-laptop.

Samsung organizer and USB keyboard– protects the Q1 in the backpack and turns it into a full laptop in 5 seconds


Verizon XV6700 phone– Windows Mobile 5 and EVDO, a good combination.  I tether the XV6700 off and on throughout the day when I need connectivity.  Of course I use a WiFi hotspot if one is available.  I am able to keep up with email whenever I have time free to process it.


Boxwave miniSync cable– I use this to tether the XV6700 to the Q1.  The retractable cable contracts to such a small size it fits in the tiny MP3 player pocket in the Booq bag.  The beauty of having the phone tethered to the Q1 is that the phone is charging the whole time it is attached.  I also have a charge only retractable cable that I use if I just need to charge the phone and don’t want to take extra time for ActiveSync to fire up.


IOGear mini Bluetooth mouse– I use it when in laptop mode in the organizer.  A fully charged mouse will last days before needing recharging.


BatteryGeek Portable Power Station– I leave the PPS in a pocket on the Booq bag and connect it while in laptop mode so the Q1 is always fully charged when I head into meetings.  When a meeting lasts a couple of hours and I have to head across town to the next meeting I connect the Q1 to the PPS right in the Booq bag with the charge cable running from the Q1 pocket to the PPS pocket.  This way the Q1 charges the entire time I am travelling to the meeting and it usually picks up a sufficient charge to get me through the upcoming meeting.  If the Q1 battery level ever drops too low for comfort during a meeting I simply plug in the PPS cable for charging without having to remove the battery from the bag.  No one is ever the wiser in the meeting.  This is probably the slickest setup I have ever used.  The PPS will run the Q1 for at least 18 hours and leave me with a fully charged internal battery.


Ultimate Ears Pro 5 headphones– simply the best headphones I have ever used.  When I have free time between meetings, especially in a noisy Starbucks or the equivalent, I plug into some nice music (or podcast) and the headphones totally block out the noisy environment.


TomTom One portable GPS– simply the easiest GPS navigation system I have ever seen.  I use it every day, it is always on while in my car.  Even if I don’t have a route programmed I like to see which cross streets are coming up and it’s a good compass.  I usually do program a route, however, because I can’t tell you how many times I have run into a major traffic problem and pulled off the freeway to bypass it.  The TomTom One instantly calculates a new route and gets me to my destination as quickly as possible.  For security reasons I sometimes throw the TomTom in the Booq bag, it’s so small it takes almost no room.


That’s it, as my gadgets have gotten more capable the number of them I have to take every day has dropped dramatically.  What’s in your gadget bag?