This is a much lengthy process that takes from eight months to three years to complete. There are ongoing researches from different scientists to come up with a technology that can extract lithium and other metals from brine water. They are focusing on the use of geothermal power plans. If this succeeds, geothermal brine could make the collection of lithium faster than even evaporation.
Oil field brine is the briny water which bubbles up whenever there is a drilling process for oil. This lithium is collected and used in industries.
More traditional mines
13% of lithium in the world comes from traditional mines. Hard rock (pegmatites) has even higher lithium content than brine. But the process is very quite costly.
What are the development and future of lithium ion battery?
Wittingham started his project by first using titanium disulfide and lithium metal. They were combined to create electrodes. However, there were so many issues with them. For instance, they came with grave safety concerns. At one point, the batteries short-circuited, bursting into flames. Stanly had to halt the experiment and perhaps go back to the drawing board.
Since it was an idea that was already in motion, many other scientists were interested in seeing it through. John B. Goodenough was one of such minds. He had another idea all together and wanted to try, with different materials.
In 1980 Goodenough brought in lithium cobalt as the cathode and dropped titanium disulfide. At this moment, the results were encouraging, producing a safer battery with double energy.
Wittingham’s idea had received a boost that could change the future of batteries. Even so, it was not even close to perfection and many things could still go wrong. Chances of short-circuiting has been reduced while it ability to hold power has increased. But still, there was something that could be done to bring out the real power of lithium ion batteries.
At the moment, Akira Yoshino from Meijo University in Nagoya, Japan, joined the cause to improve on what the other two had started. He made an important swap that laid the foundation for the lithium ion batteries we seeing today.
Yoshino did not use lithium metal as anode because of its high reactive nature. Instead, he introduced carbonaceous metal, and petroleum coke into the situation. These two elements open doors to revolutionary finding. Now the batteries were not only safer, but had a more stable performance as well.
And with that, the world received the first prototype of lithium ion battery. Today, we can enjoy using the batteries because better minds have worked to make things even better.
The first commercial production of lithium ion batteries was in early 1990s. Early lithium ion batteries had lithium moving reversibly between the cathode and the anode. It was called the rocking chair which was taken by Lazzari and Serosati. Other developments came up, with Goodenough laboratories for instance introducing lithiated transition metal oxide.
The modern market lithium is not as easy as this. There are many additional markets for both big and small devices. Better features have been added to improve performance and safety. For instance, these batteries now use LiCoO2 as the cathode.
With the emergence of e-bikes and EVs, the demand for more powerful batteries keeps increasing. Lithium-ion batteries have taken the lead, and we are yet to see better improvements.
Lithium ion batteries are the most used batteries in the world. There is no denying, the future is still open for this chemistry as scientist continue working on improving it. Since, they are looking for batteries with better features; we cannot say for sure where the future of lithium ion batteries lies. But we know for sure better things are coming.