Lithium is used in batteries that power smartphones and laptops, but there is also rising use in electric vehicles which is putting additional pressure on supplies.
I guess we can expect higher charges....
Growing demand for lithium for batteries means the sector will need $42 billion of investment to meet the anticipated level of orders by the end of the decade, according to a report. Lithium is used in batteries that power smartphones and laptops, but there is also rising use in electric vehicles which is putting additional …
I've long considered that using a more finite resource than the one we're currently using was a mistake. Lithium isn't a green alternative, what you're not told is how many hectares of forest are being ripped up so smug people can drive around in tesla's (other less smug alternatives are available).
We definitely need to be extracting more from spent batteries than just keep digging up more lithium out of the ground to keep up with demand. But it needs to be cost effective to recycle and not just a well meaning idea that doesn't work economically. As look at plastic recycling which was pushed by the petrochemical companies as a solution to the huge plastic problem, but in reality doesn't work for most plastics as its still cheaper to make new plastic than to use recycled.
it needs to be cost effective to recycle
With current technologies, extracting lithium from batteries is not even close to being economical. There is some recycling of lithium batteries, which sounds good, but they're mainly concentrating on other metals. Major break-throughs are required to change the situation. Until then, hopefully we at least form the old batteries into a pile in the hope of later processing, taking care to avoid chemicals leeching out into the environment and lithium fires.
The way electricity prices are spiralling upwards more and more people are aiming to install solar panels and to get the best out of these you also need to install big batteries at home. The waiting lists of these is shooting up do to supply problems.
Hopefully they'll crack the production problems with sodium batteries soon and that will take a lot of pressure off the lithium supply chain. Sodium is much easier to lay your hands on (not sure what we'll so with all the waste chlorine).
>> Much like you can't take a pile of rust and make iron again.
Ohhhh yes you can.
That's exactly what they do to weld railway rack... OK they use Al powder as well, which makes it not particularly 'green' as a process and there is the small matter of the extreme exothermic nature of the reaction to deal with but, none the less, you can take a pile of rust and turn it back into iron.
icon is flame becasue thats what the Thermite reaction specialises in!
Much like you can't take a pile of rust and make iron again.
actually, iron in nature can only be found rusted, that's why many rocks are red : you cannot find shiny pure iron in the Earth. But that's not a problem: when heated to 1500°C, the iron melts and becomes pure metal again.
Dunno if it works for lithium though
There is sodium battery technology but it's hardly domestic yet. Lithium is safety marginal enough (fires etc) and sodium is much more reactive. It can be managed, it was used as a coolant in some nuclear reactors but I wouldn't fancy 100 kg or so in my basement. I don't know if anyone is working on magnesium, that's much more available than lithium but I guess the chemistry's not so good.
Chlorine can be used for all sorts of industrial processes, notably bleaching, but seems to be considered green only in colour these days!
If by 'green' they mean minimal environmental impact, that's hard to believe. Even DLE only yields 1-2 grams of impure lithium chloride per litre of brine, so vast volumes of water (and masses of electricity) are needed. Conventional evaporative extraction (the dominant current method) is even worse. So however it's extracted lithium is good battery stuff, but very far from 'green'.
Toyota has ambitious plans for the future of its electric vehicles, and it's turning to a Tesla founder to make them happen.
The North American arm of the Japanese automaker has partnered with Redwood Materials to help it develop a battery supply chain that collects, recycles, refurbishes, and remanufactures EV batteries and their materials. Redwood was founded by Tesla co-founder and former CTO JB Straubel.
Redwood's work will start with testing and recycling Toyota batteries, spokesperson Alexis Georgeson said in a statement. "We will then expand into other areas including battery health screening and data management, remanufacturing, and battery material supply throughout North America."
A new type of silicon-anode lithium-ion battery could be the solution the EV market is waiting for, as it can apparently charge from empty to full in less than 10 minutes.
Designed and built by California-based Enovix, the battery also maintains 93 percent of its capacity past 1,000 charges and was minimally affected by six months of operation at elevated temperatures, the company claims. These are both key parts of the US Advanced Battery Consortium's (USABC) high-performance EV battery goals.
Per the USABC [PDF], a battery that can reach 80 percent charge in 15 minutes and handle at least 1,000 charging cycles can be called "advanced," and by that standard Enovix has accomplished goals that USABC considered mid- to long-term.
A totaled Tesla Model S burst into flames in a Sacramento junkyard earlier this month, causing a fire that took "a significant amount of time, water, and thinking outside the box to extinguish," firefighters said.
The vehicle was involved in a comparably unexplosive accident that sent it to the junkyard three weeks ago – it's unclear what caused the Tesla to explode nearly a month after being taken off the road. Like other electric vehicle fires, it was very difficult to extinguish.
"Crews knocked the fire down, but the car kept re-igniting and off-gassing in the battery compartment," the department said on Instagram.
Another day, another legal claim against Apple for deliberately throttling the performance of its iPhones to save battery power.
This latest case was brought by Justin Gutmann, who has asked the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to approve a collective action that could allow as many as 25 million Brits to claim compensation from the American technology giant. He claims the iGiant secretly degraded their smartphones' performance to make the battery power last longer.
Apple may therefore have to cough up an eye-popping £768 million ($927 million), Gutmann's lawyers estimated, Bloomberg first reported this week.
A piece of Soviet-era physics equipment may be the key to worldwide geothermal energy.
Virtual reality is all well and good, but decent haptics and a bit of force feedback are essential for it to be truly immersive. The Register donned the Teslasuit Glove at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week.
We looked at Manus VR's Prime Haptic gloves in 2019 and while the accuracy and haptics were impressive, the sensation of gripping something in a VR session was lacking once one pushed past the nudging pads.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge's Department of Biochemistry have run an Arm CPU for six months using algae as a power source.
As explained in a paper titled Powering a microprocessor by photosynthesis, the biochem boffins built an AA-battery-sized device that hosts an algae named Synechocystis that "naturally harvests energy from the sun through photosynthesis."
The boffins found a way to turn that harvested energy into current by using an aluminium anode, and fed it into a board hosting an Arm Cortex M0+ CPU.
The pilot of a new emergency battery power system at a Google datacenter in Belgium may be the first of many steps toward eliminating diesel generators from similar facilities around the world.
Google talked up the success of the datacenter battery power backup trial, which took place at its bit barn in St Ghislain, west Belgium, earlier this week alongside several other renewable energy announcements.
Altogether, the aim is to move Google further toward its goal of being entirely powered by carbon-free energy by 2030.
The San Diego Supercomputer Center in the US is ditching its lead-acid uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries for more environmentally friendly rechargeables – though it's avoiding lithium-ion, and going with a new form of rechargeable alkaline.
Currently, the SDSC relies on a generator and UPS to provide emergency power. Because of environmental regulations in its home state of California, the SDSC has been unable to scale up the portion of its emergency power delivered by generators. The new batteries – half of which are already installed – will be a way to avoid running into that limitation.
Providing the 5,200 batteries, which replace 20,000 pounds of lead-acid, is Urban Electric Power (UEP). UEP's founder, Sanjoy Banerjee, developed the technology behind the batteries while a professor at City College of New York before spinning it off into a commercial proposition.
Fujitsu has signed an agreement with Atmonia to deliver HPC and AI technology for the development of catalysts to drive the clean production of ammonia, which is being touted as an alternative to fossil fuels.
Atmonia is an Icelandic startup that is aiming to develop a sustainable process for ammonia production. The agreement with Fujitsu involves a joint research effort to accelerate catalyst development, which will see Fujitsu supply the high performance compute (HPC) technology.
Fujitsu said it will develop high-speed simulation technology to boost the discovery of new catalysts using HPC technology for quantum chemistry simulation, and also work on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies for the discovery of new materials and new catalyst candidates for ammonia synthesis.
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