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Silicon As the New Lithium 211

Posted by kdawson
from the throw-the-sand-against-the-wind dept.
hduff writes "While lithium-ion batteries offer better performance than lead-acid or ni-cad batteries, the supply of lithium is limited and the batteries can pose problems. Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute are building a better battery with easily obtainable sand and air."
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Silicon As the New Lithium

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  • by somersault (912633) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @06:13AM (#30375474) Homepage Journal

    Just use gold instead!

    But really, we have a lot of otherwise useful metals being punted around in the form of money at the moment. We should use digital money and put the metal stuff to better use.

  • by lanner (107308) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @06:15AM (#30375482)

    While new battery technology is very important in our current time, the sheer number of duplicate stories and borderline advertisement/marketing stories on Slashdot about these new batteries, WITH a combines lithium FUD scare at the same time no less, sours these stories.

  • Natrium batteries (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Colin Smith (2679) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @06:17AM (#30375498)

    Chemically very similar to Lithium. Plenty of Natrium around.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @07:02AM (#30375654)

    Sand is everywhere.

    Chile has half the world's lithium and they're gearing up to play hardball over it. This will hopefully deflate those plans.

    If Chile plays hardball, then expect the US to claim Chile's harboring Al-Qaeda and are building Weapons of Mass Destruction.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @07:23AM (#30375736) Journal
    "Just a thought...

    I had that thought once but when I tested it I found UID's and IQ's are not inversely related.
  • by maxume (22995) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:18AM (#30375946)


    I grew up a few hundred miles from a mine that shut down because other mines were more economical. As the price goes up, that sort of mine can start operating again (if they can convince people in the area to put up with the environmental impact).

  • by phoenix321 (734987) * on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @08:19AM (#30375948)

    Lithium in mineable concentration is pretty rare as it is and highly priced because of Lithium-Ion batteries - that's why everyone is searching for another battery type in the first place.

  • by Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @09:42AM (#30376348)

    Actually, Spanish word for sodium is "sodio". Funny thing, as one would have expected it to be "natrio" instead (just substitute "o" for "um" and there you have a Spanish version of a Latin word). Which makes me wonder if someone at sometime forgot that sodium probably comes from Arabic, as per Wikipedia, and thought it was Latin instead.

    Perhaps Spanish was influenced by the Arab presence in Spain during the Middle Ages?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @10:40AM (#30376822)

    The situation is completely different.

    A non-renewable energy resource such as oil is consumed by the process of using it as fuel -- i.e. it is destroyed (unless you're willing to wait millions of years for the carbon cycle to do its job). It also has a well-defined theoretical endpoint that would never be crossed: once it takes more energy to extract it than the oil contains, there's no point in extracting it. It's simple physics. And the practical economic threshold will be reached well before that point.

    By contrast, a non-renewable material resource such as lithium is not destroyed during use, and it can be recycled. This prolongs the availability of the resource immensely. The challenge becomes recovering as much of it as possible rather than trying to manage its inevitable depletion. Furthermore, as a non-energy resource, we can keep mining it from geological sources of ever-diminishing concentrations. There is no practical limit to the resource as long as the price/demand goes high enough. Although it is unlikely it would ever be necessary, we could extract it from average rock if we had to. Oil isn't like that at all.

    Thus, by recycling efficiently "peak lithium" might never happen. The worst that would happen is increased expense. "Peak oil", however, is inevitable as long as we keep using it, and no matter how high the price goes. Well, unless you stopped using it as a fuel and only sold it as perfume or something.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 09, 2009 @11:07AM (#30377062)
    I don't mean to disappoint you but... gold is so valuable exactly because its so rare. If gold was so easy to find as cooper, most wires in the world would be made of gold and it would be cheap as cooper...

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