As electric cars and devices such as smartphones continue to spread, demand for lithium-ion batteries, the energy source of these devices, has increased rapidly, leading to a steady decline in the world's lithium reserves.But recently, scientists have discovered that supervolcanoes, such as Yellowstone's supervolcano, have large reserves of lithium, which are expected to be on fire.
The lithium element was discovered in 1817 by the Swede JohanAugustArfyedson, in the natural condition of soft white metal.Lithium is widely used to make rechargeable batteries in most mobile devices, and is used to treat mental illness and to build nuclear weapons.
Currently, the vast majority of the world's lithium supply comes from Australia and Chile.The lithium is extracted from brine, pegmatite or sedimentary rock.Such limited supply of resources, coupled with the increasing reliance on the production of battery-powered devices, has kept the price of lithium rising, even in short supply.
According to a recent study published in Nature communications, researchers from Stanford university and the USGeologicalSurvey found that supervolcanoes have new deposits of lithium ore.This super volcano can erupt 1000 times as powerful as a normal volcano.In addition to the famous Yellowstone volcano, there are three supervolcanoes in the United States: Crater Lake, Long Valley and Valles Caldera.
When these supervolcanoes erupt, they collapse and form a basin shaped caldera.Later, the depression will be flooded into lakes.As time goes by, volcanic ash and pumice will fill the bottom of the lake.
The magma in the supervolcano contains a lot of lithium.Over the course of thousands of years, lithium from volcanic eruptions leaked into the crater lake and gathered in the clay in the lake.So, the team thinks supervolcano is a potential source of lithium.
The team analyzed soil samples from High Rock, Sierra la Primavera, Sierra la Primavera, Sicily, Pantelleria, Yellowstone, and Hideaway park, Colorado.By comparing the amount of magma in these different geological structures, researchers have been able to prove that there is a potential for a large number of lithium reserves in supervolcanoes.
Gail frank Mahood, co-author of the study (Gail Mahood) said in a statement, surprised us is that when the outbreak of the magma, even if no higher concentration of lithium in the magma, which is also a huge have such new lithium lithium reserves for the next few years will gradually increase the lithium battery needs to make a major contribution.The team also said the findings would "provide diversity for lithium reserves".
"Developing electric vehicles and large capacity batteries is an important way to reduce our carbon emissions," Mahood continued.The discovery of lithium reserves in the United States means that the United States will not rely on a single country or company to avoid the impact of economic or political strategies on the source of U.S. lithium reserves.
Thomas Benson, the study's lead author, said: "because there was a gold rush in the us, we knew everything about gold, but we never had a lithium heat.Our demand for lithium has exceeded our understanding of lithium on a scientific level, so we have to conduct further scientific research on lithium."