The lithium market is growing rapidly, with demand increasing by over 360% in the last five years. Although lithium has long been known for its use in batteries, it has recently gained attention for its potential use as an alternative energy source.
It is a powerful and magical accordion walls substance. Lithium has had a profound and positive effect on the world of science, engineering, and medicine. The technology has been use to build everything from electric cars to smartphones, solar panels to memory foam mattresses.
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What is Lithium?
Lithium is the most abundant metal on earth, making up about 3 percent of the planet’s crust.
It has been since the late 19th century, but its use in batteries discoverer in the 1970s, by M. Stanley Whittingham. At first, lithium use to treat mental disorders such as mania and depression.
Lithium is a soft, silvery metal that is plentiful in Australia.
The most common source of lithium is brine from salt lakes near the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia and South Australia. Nevertheless, lithium is not founding just anywhere.
It needs to be extract from its natural deposits using powerful acids, caustic soda solutions, or carbon dioxide gas.
Lithium — The New Oil
The global economy is working toward decarbonizing its energy systems by increasing the percentage of alternative energy sources, among other initiatives.
While the world is establishing its environmental strategy.
However, transitory solar energy systems and wind are challenging to incorporate into electrical networks due to their changeable nature brought on by seasonally and shifting weather patterns.
Energy storage is essential for maintaining excess power so that it may be use at times of peak demand since production and demand in an energy infrastructure must always be balance.
In these situations, batteries are wide regarde as one of the most important options for successfully integrating significant proportions of solar and wind resources into power grids across the world.
The advent of mobile phones
The advent of mobile phones, electric vehicles, and renewable power gave this form of energy storage applications fresh life after the introduction of lithium-ion batteries in 1991 and their relatively sluggish start in electronic devices.
Lithium-ion batteries are currently by far the most common form of battery for both sized businesses and large-scale energy storage, despite the eventual availability of other battery options.
This is because their nearest competitors (coin and metals hydride batteries) lack some distinctive features, such as reduced weight, greater energy densities, quicker charging, and a lack of a memory effect that causes battery packs to lose storage capacity over time.
The desire for lithium, a key component of lithium-ion batteries, has changed significantly over the past few decades.
The number of these characteristics of lithium-ion batteries is increasing every year. For example, in 1995, the world produced just around 6,500 tons of lithium annually; by 2015, that number had already risen to almost 32,500 tons.
But during the previous five years, the annual output of lithium multiplied tenfold, reaching over 345,000 tons in 2020.
These numbers are rather astounding, especially considering that lithium is the lightest metal. They do not, however, state the upper limit.
Lithium output is anticipated to increase even more in the future decade, reaching just around 2 million tons, to fulfill the rising demand of the elevat and energy sectors.
Some analysts even refer to lithium as “the new oil” due to the widespread preoccupation with this metal.
Lithium — The War of Electrical Energy
The war on electrical energy for lithium is the most important event in the history of the electric industry. After the discovery of lithium by Johan August Arfvedson in 1817, many people have tried to find a way to extract it from its ore.
The first to succeed were two Englishmen, Humphry Davy, and Sir Joseph Swan, who in 1840 obtained an electric current from a mixture of potassium hydroxide and water that contained a small amount of lithium.
The first commercial exploitation of lithium was also carries out. by Germans: in 1881 they extracted enough material for themselves to make their batteries.
This led to a rapid increase in demand and prices. which made it difficult for many countries to produce enough lithium.
1865 the British government established several mining companies to exploit this mineral in Malaya and Australia.
In 1896 the first American company produced lithium compounds on a large scale thanks to William Cady’s method of electrolysis (1887). He patented his process and founded what would become General Electric Company.
The war on lithium began with the invention of the battery. Since then, it has been a constant fight to maintain a supply of this sought-after element. The reason behind this is that lithium is not only use in batteries but also as an important element in many other technologies.
Ø The Competition between Countries
Lithium is one of the light elements known to man and found in different minerals all over the world.
It is a very rare element in the universe and there are only a few places where it can we found.
The war on electrical energy for lithium is a competition between the countries.
China has historically made significant investments in the mining sector all over the world. With a special focus on the developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
In countries like Madagascar, Mozambique, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Among others, Chinese businessmen had great success there.
The list of these nations indicates how the difficult political environment and difficulties of post-war rebuilding do. not appear to deter China’s resource firms.
The reason behind this war is that both countries, China and US. Are willing to invest more money in lithium-ion batteries.
Which will lead to more production of electrical energy. In addition, both countries want to be the first country in the world to produce electric vehicles.
This competition has gradually become a global one, as other countries are also investing heavily in lithium-ion batteries (Cooke, 2021).
The second reason why there has been such a big investment in lithium-ion batteries. They can be use in many different applications, including cell phones and computers.
They can also be use in hybrid cars and even electric cars.
The third reason why there has been such an enormous investment is that. It is a very profitable business for many companies around the world.
Benefits of Lithium
- Lithium has high electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. Which makes it useful in batteries capacitors, fuel cells, and other electrochemical devices.
- Lithium is use to treat depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and more.
- Lithium also helps with memory loss, affects mood, and increases alertness.
- Lithium carbonate can also be use as a laxative.
The energy market is one of the most volatile industries on earth. Because of rising global demand, lithium is a prominent topic right now. Countries are engag in an unforeseen fight over the extraction of lithium.
It is see that many students want to conduct their research on the historic background of lithium.
But because of inaccurate information, they couldn’t continue it.
This guide provides in-depth explanations of the causes of the conflict caused by lithium and the significance of this metal. Or if you’re still confused, you can always take help with thesis writing service where professionals collect accurate information and write it for you.
DWH.2021. quantitative and qualitative research method. Online Available at: <https://dissertationwritinghelp.uk/qualitative-and-quantitative-research-method/> (Accessed: 22 June 2022).
Cooke, P., 2021. The lithium wars: From Kokkola to the Congo for the 500 mile battery. Sustainability, 13(8), p.4215.