Lithium the “white gold” that abounds in the Andes, another hope for clean energy

Two years ago the U.S. edition of Forbes magazine published an article in which it called for the Andean region of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina as the “lithium of Saudi Arabia “.

It is the lightest metal, its density is half of the water. Like other univalent alkali metals is very reactive but less than sodium, it is not free in nature.

It is common component of aluminum alloys, cadmium, copper and manganese used in aircraft construction. The lithium-ion batteries, also called Li-Ion battery is a device designed for electrical energy storage, which is becoming more common in the market.

In the Andean region accounts for 85% of the world’s reserves of this alkali metal contaminant which, according to experts, is the energy revolution in less than 20 years.

While Chile lives a dispute concerning the exploitation of this resource and Bolivia has not been exploited it, Argentina has reserves estimated at about six million tons. Produces and exports 15,000 tons of lithium carbonate, a figure expected to multiply in the coming years.

The lithium battery industry is currently held by Japan and the United States, who have almost two decades of research and investment in developing this market.

This technology has established itself as the most interesting of its kind in use for laptops, mobile phones and other electrical and electronic equipment.

However Chilean and Argentine scientists are developing projects for the development of lithium batteries in various applications, as it offers the opportunity to use clean energy.

The significant lithium reserves are located in the Andes of South America in a triangle defined by northwestern Argentina (Puna), southern Bolivia (Uyuni) and northern Chile (Atacama), have aroused interest in the mineral and current use of technology in lithium ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles connected to the network (PHEVs), which have yet to reach the energy density of fossil fuels.

Gustavo Carrasquel | ANCA24

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About ANCA24canada

Environmental, Ecologists and Conservationist news from the Americas
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