2020-09-17 How Long Will Lithium Supplies Last?

This article paints a doom and gloom picture of the lithium supply. Lithium is the 25th most common element on earth. It’s not that rare. According to Wikipedia it’s as common as chlorine. It says the seawater has 230 BILLION tonnes. So the supply is not going to run out, it’s just going to get more expensive to extract from the ocean. Elon Musk says there’s enough lithium just in Nevada to supply all the hundred plus million cars in the US. In order to extract lithium from clay they just pour seawater through the clay.


Quote from Wikipedia


Although lithium is widely distributed on Earth, it does not naturally occur in elemental form due to its high reactivity.[4] The total lithium content of seawater is very large and is estimated as 230 billion tonnes, where the element exists at a relatively constant concentration of 0.14 to 0.25 parts per million (ppm),[47][48] or 25 micromolar;[49] higher concentrations approaching 7 ppm are found near hydrothermal vents.[48]

Estimates for the Earth’s crustal content range from 20 to 70 ppm by weight.[18] Lithium constitutes about 0.002 percent of Earth’s crust.[50] In keeping with its name, lithium forms a minor part of igneous rocks, with the largest concentrations in granites. …

A newer source for lithium is hectorite clay, the only active development of which is through the Western Lithium Corporation in the United States.[53] At 20 mg lithium per kg of Earth’s crust,[54] lithium is the 25th most abundant element. >>

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