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Lithium compounds, also known as lithium salts, are primarily used as a psychiatric medication. This includes the treatment of major depressive disorder that.
Table of contents
- Industry opposition
- Lithium (medication)
- Lithium is powering today's technology—at what price?
- Lithium and Spredfast have merged. Meet Khoros.
However, this dominant feature of Tesla is now being challenged. Naturally, this split from Panasonic will allow Tesla to source the very best components for their battery. This little known FTSE company currently produce the best performing cathode material for lithium batteries. For those unfamiliar with the construction of a lithium battery, I can refer you to the diagram below.
As you may note, a lithium battery consists of a carbon anode, an electrolyte and a lithium based cathode. It is in the composition of the cathode where most research and development has taken place. Infographic courtesy battery university. The initial commercial lithium batteries used a lithium-cobalt-oxide cathode, mostly known simply as a lithium battery or LiCo.
Following further research, oxides of nickel, manganese, cobalt, and iron were used. These later batteries took on various acronyms, dependent upon the make-up of the chemical composition of the cathode. For electric vehicles, various versions on NMC batteries are most commonly used. Great attempts were made to reduce the cobalt for cost reasons, and now the most modern version is NMC Of course, Tesla claims to have the highest energy density used in any EV and so many commentators are assuming that Tesla has moved to NMC The next generation of cathode materials is on the way.
New research has led to an advanced version of NCA Nickel Cobalt Aluminum , which is claimed to have more rapid charging and energy density characteristics. However, it seems that this material has already been superseded by a compound from Johnson Matthey known as eLNO. From the infographic, one can see the cost benefits of eLNO but the material also displays superior energy density and charging speed.
Infographic courtesy Johnson Matthey based on independently sourced data. The car that charges the fastest and goes the furthest on a single charge will, in my opinion, get the greatest market share. In view of the critical nature of the battery element of a vehicle, Tesla have broadcast the existence of a lab to focus on battery technology. Also in the news has been news of some friction between their long term battery partner, Panasonic.
Having a lab to focus on battery design gives a number of advantages. Foremost among them, is complete control over sourced components. The company is an underappreciated year old company that provides an array of high-technology compounds and products. In many of the sectors it serves, the company has market leading position. Scientists are tracking not just where deposits are, but how they might move: where the water flows, where the lithium-rich fluid could become trapped beneath a layer of hard, impermeable rock.
Lithium prospecting is also taking a page from the hydrology playbook, using some classic tools of that trade to track the circulation of groundwater through the subsurface to suss out where lithium-rich deposits might end up.
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Isotopes of hydrogen, oxygen and helium are used to track how long the groundwater has been traveling through the subsurface as well as the types of rocks that the water has been in contact with. Faults, for example, can channel subsurface water, and therefore may play a big role in shaping where lithium deposits might form. That, he says, suggests the faults are helping to channel the groundwater and thereby concentrating the deposits.
Extracting lithium from its ore and converting it into a commercially usable form such as lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide can produce toxic waste, which can leak into the environment.
Even when Mother Nature is doing much of the work, such as in evaporation ponds, there can be negative effects on the environment. In South America, for example, the problem is water supply. The lithium triangle, which includes Salar de Atacama, is one of the driest places on Earth — and mining consumes a lot of water. Just at the edges of the Salar de Atacama salt flats is a flamingo nesting habitat: brackish lagoons filled with brine shrimp.
The same water source in the Andes that feeds the subsurface lithium brine reservoir also, ultimately, fills the lagoons. In fact, the water table is already dropping in some places in the region, and indigenous communities, as well as both Chilean and Argentinian authorities, are on high alert, Hynek says. In addition to the lithium brine mining, copper mines high up in the Andes — where the groundwater originates — are extracting a substantial amount of water from the system. Such big environmental concerns could hamper future prospects for mining in the region.
The effects of withdrawing the briny waters now might not be felt for perhaps decades. Bradley et al. Schulz et al. Geological Survey Professional Paper , December Kavanagh et al. American Geophysical Union meeting, Washington, D. This Greek philosopher had the right idea, just too few elements. Science News Online. April 3, Extreme elements push the boundaries of the periodic table. Science News. How the periodic table went from a sketch to an enduring masterpiece. Lithium-oxygen batteries are getting an energy boost. Get Science News headlines by e-mail.
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Lithium is powering today's technology—at what price?
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Lithium and Spredfast have merged. Meet Khoros.
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