China Finds Greener Way to Extract Lithium
The Chinese government just approved a new method to extract lithium. The process is more eco-friendly and efficient.
The new process will replace the current lithium extraction methods in China.
Currently, China imports 80% of its lithium carbonate, which is used to make lithium batteries, even though it is rich in lithium resources. This is because the current extraction process is inefficient and produces a lot of waste.
The new method is developed by Jiangxi Haohai Lithium Energy, Nanchang University, and some other institutions.
Haohai also plans to invest $156 million to build a production line with an annual capacity of 40,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate.
Lithium batteries power electronic cars and electronic devices like phones and laptops. Lithium is also used to make glass and medicine for bipolar disorder.
In related news, Forbes reports that electric car sales were in the highest in China in 2017.
China bought 579,000 electric vehicles in 2017 and outpaced United States’ figure of 198,350.
The boom comes from the Chinese government wanting to move away from gasoline. This is because of two reasons:
- They want to move away from their dependence on oil
- They want to reduce pollution caused by gasoline cars
Another reason the sale of electric cars is high in China is that the government is incentivizing the purchase of electric vehicles and gives a 10% tax rebate to new buyers.
Since lithium is one of the main components of batteries that power electric cars, the new extraction method can help the country embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Moreover, Bloomberg has called lithium the new gasoline that will power vehicles in an eco-friendly way. Electric cars are gaining popularity all around the world. Three million electric cars were in circulation in 2017, which is a 50% increase over 2016.