spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

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LockH   100 GW

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spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by LockH » Dec 21 2018 11:12am

The spiralling environmental cost of our lithium battery
("As the world scrambles to replace fossil fuels with clean energy, the environmental impact of finding all the lithium required could become a major issue in its own right"):
https://www.wired.co.uk/article/lithium ... YmIYnY2Tqs

:shock:
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Volt_Ampere   10 W

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by Volt_Ampere » Dec 22 2018 11:28am

Yup. Lithium supply will be a big issue as more electric vehicles are produced.

Joachim   1 kW

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by Joachim » Dec 22 2018 2:57pm

Humanity wil end up with horse and carriage :mrgreen:

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by DAND214 » Dec 22 2018 5:21pm

Joachim wrote:
Dec 22 2018 2:57pm
Humanity wil end up with horse and carriage :mrgreen:
Again?

Dan

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by dustNbone » Dec 22 2018 6:24pm

Pretty sure putting that many horses into service would be it's own sort of environmental disaster.

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by billvon » Dec 22 2018 6:59pm

Joachim wrote:
Dec 22 2018 2:57pm
Humanity wil end up with horse and carriage
Eh, if lithium runs short then we use battery formulations that use less lithium. Or switch to magnesium or phosphate batteries. Or if we don't want to do as much work, we go to nickel metal hydride or plain old lead acid.
--bill von

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by Grantmac » Dec 23 2018 12:42am

Magnesium will eventually take over I'm sure. Far more abundant and potentially better energy density.

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by Dauntless » Dec 23 2018 1:00am

If a flashlight can run on water---Oh, wait, we'd run out of that, wouldn't we?

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jonescg   1.21 GW

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by jonescg » Dec 23 2018 2:04am

Once lithium, nickel and cobalt get scarce enough they will go looking for more. And formulate ways of using less of it. And eventually we'll have a decent battery recycling system in place, so I wouldn't be too concerned.

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by Dauntless » Dec 23 2018 11:37am

All that is would be optimism. Demand doubles, they use 10% less in a cell, we wind up needing 9x more lithium for 10x the useage. That still means electrics are just a niche.

There will have to be batteries other than lithium. And probably no dominant chemistry unless we can grow it. Any ideas for a corn battery?
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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by billvon » Dec 24 2018 12:30am

jonescg wrote:
Dec 23 2018 2:04am
Once lithium, nickel and cobalt get scarce enough they will go looking for more. And formulate ways of using less of it. And eventually we'll have a decent battery recycling system in place, so I wouldn't be too concerned.
Yep. Even today we have Li formulations that use little to no cobalt. Scarcity will drive cost, and that cost will drive research into, and then changes in, battery chemistries.
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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by Punx0r » Dec 24 2018 10:10am

Much like increasingly expensive rare earth element magnets has incentivised the development of switched reluctance motors/generators.

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by Sunder » Dec 25 2018 6:14pm

Dauntless wrote:
Dec 23 2018 11:37am
All that is would be optimism. Demand doubles, they use 10% less in a cell, we wind up needing 9x more lithium for 10x the useage. That still means electrics are just a niche.

There will have to be batteries other than lithium. And probably no dominant chemistry unless we can grow it. Any ideas for a corn battery?
Its the old peak oil trap. People assume that demand will follow trend growth, but rarely assume supply will follow trend growth. There are usually seemingly good reasons for that ("Population is growing, but no new oil is being made!").

However, this fails to take into account innovation and economic drivers. E.g. at $5 a barrel, a huge amount of oil is uneconomical to extract, but at $150 a barrel, a lot more is.

Likewise, seawater extraction might become feasible, or we might start near earth object mining.

I'm not saying we should waste what we have assuming there is guaranteed an alternative, but at the same time, we shouldn't be waiting until an alternative is available to allow what reserves we know we have to be used either. Remember, the first peak oil prediction was made in the 1880s - nearly 140 years ago.
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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by chvidgov.bc.ca » Dec 25 2018 6:38pm

I understand that village scale sodium based flow batteries are only a matter of a few years away based on the recent discovery at MIT with metallic matrices. They are aready at 150kwatthours/kg. with really long life span. Lithium isn't the only horse in the race.

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by Mandres » Dec 28 2018 10:11am

Dauntless wrote:
Dec 23 2018 11:37am
There will have to be batteries other than lithium. And probably no dominant chemistry unless we can grow it. Any ideas for a corn battery?
Isn't that essentially what the human metabolism system is? Why can't we copy that to power our machines? An elephant is a gigantic machine, and it runs on hay ...

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by billvon » Dec 28 2018 12:20pm

Mandres wrote:
Dec 28 2018 10:11am
Why can't we copy that to power our machines?
In general, it can be a bad idea to give people the choice between feeding the hungry and powering their machines.
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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by Hillhater » Dec 28 2018 10:15pm

chvidgov.bc.ca wrote:
Dec 25 2018 6:38pm
I understand that village scale sodium based flow batteries are only a matter of a few years away based on the recent discovery at MIT with metallic matrices. They are aready at 150kwatthours/kg. with really long life span. Lithium isn't the only horse in the race.
Flow batteries, of various chemistrys, have been commercially available and in use for several years.
They have not made much impact on the storage market, and have their own issues to resolve.
150 kWh/kg is a typo im sure ! :lol:
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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by LockH » Dec 31 2018 7:52am

dustNbone wrote:
Dec 22 2018 6:24pm
Pretty sure putting that many horses into service would be it's own sort of environmental disaster.
From Horse Power to Horsepower
https://escholarship.org/uc/item/6sm968t2

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LockH   100 GW

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Re: spiralling environmental cost, lithium batteries

Post by LockH » Dec 31 2018 8:00am

chvidgov.bc.ca wrote:
Dec 25 2018 6:38pm
Lithium isn't the only horse in the race.
Amusing choice of phraseology. :lol:
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