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View Diary: The state of lithium (180 comments)

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  •  I know of no (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koNko

    companies that are investing in seawater extraction and I work with a client that has just made substantial investments in Argentina. From what I can see, nobody is investing in seawater extraction because it is an unknown. Unknown risks, unknown legal and liability requirements. Again, what looks good in a lab doesn't look good to an investor.

    As far as I know, almost all the action in lithium is in salt flats and nobody is investing in sea extraction. I suspect that this idea will go the way of most sea-extraction schemes. Looks good, but nobody is willing to risk any money on it.

    •  I don't think it will come to that (4+ / 0-)

      For a simple reason: within 8-10 years, carbon nanotube cells should replace Li ion technology particularly for transportation since the power density is at least one order higher and the mas/volume lower.

      At this point, the basic technology has already been proven and the focus is on improving cell design and developing mass production processes for bulk production of nanotubes and cells.

      The structure of the media is self-assembling so working out bulk processes is a bit tricky and involves optimization of the assembly process itself, but this is a hot research domain with virtuslly hundreds of labs working on various applications for these materials so it's possible development may be faster than forecast.

      Carbon: light, strong, abundant, cheap.

      (;~)>

      "Life immitates art, but takes license." - ko

      by koNko on Sun Jun 13, 2010 at 10:10:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe there were recent patents (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko

        granted in this area. I read in one of the journals, I believe. Am I correct?

        •  Yes. MIT. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brooklynbadboy, judyms9

          And it is going to be huge for them. I would not be surprised if they passed Stanforn in income from patents for this invention alone.

          Really, give me $0.00000001 for every battery sold and I promise to rec every comment you post for life.

          "Life immitates art, but takes license." - ko

          by koNko on Sun Jun 13, 2010 at 10:22:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  BTW (0+ / 0-)

          As long as we are on the subject of rare earth metals of strategic importance for green technology I think you might be interested in this nice bit of work from IBM.

          The research paper is available from Advanced Materials if you have a subscriotion to the online library.

          I heard they have already pumped-up the efficiency from 9.6 to about 11 but can't find anything published to confirm that, but Si is pretty darned abundant and the process to make black Si (originally discovered by Philips I believe) is pretyy simple and fits nicely into 3D silicon structuring; in other words, you not only get a huge bost in surface area and wavelength absoption, but can integrate it into 3D pillars such as Solasta is using for it's cells (an idea originally concieved by NXP/IPDIA to fabricate 3D capacitors).

          Disruptive in the best sense of the word.

          "Life immitates art, but takes license." - ko

          by koNko on Sun Jun 13, 2010 at 10:44:15 AM PDT

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    •  There's no reason... (4+ / 0-)

      To do anything with sea water extraction right now.

      There might never be a reason to extract from sea water.  

      It's just that there is an immense amount of lithium which we could extract from that source if every single other country cut us off.  (Remember OPEC's supply cutback in the 1970s?)

      There's no reason to fear what China or Bolivia or any other country or combination of countries might to us in the future when it comes to lithium for batteries.

      Extracting from sea water would be a heck of a lot of cheaper than "liberating Iraq" to fuel our rides....

      President Obama!!! - People want MORE DRAMA!!!

      by BobTrips on Sun Jun 13, 2010 at 10:26:26 AM PDT

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      •  Maybe one should consider... (0+ / 0-)

        ...mineral extraction from seawater in concert with reverse osmosis potable water production. You get the minerals concentrated in the brine, and the local water supply gets potable water.

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Sun Jun 13, 2010 at 12:21:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hopefully this can be done even when the (0+ / 0-)

        sea is contaminated with crude oil.

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