CRITICAL MINERAL COMMODITIES FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCE-BATTERIES
CRITICAL MINERALS FOR BATTERIES
Batteries play an important supporting role for renewable energy source like wind and solar, allowing excess power to be stored for usage when direct solar or wind power are unavailable. Just like the energy sources they complement, modern batteries rely on critical mineral commodities, particularly Lithium, Cobalt, Manganese, and Graphite.
Lithium is the first of the alkalis in the periodic table. In nature, it is found like a mixture of the isotopes Li6 and Li7. It is the lightest solid metal, it is soft, silvery-white with a low melting point and reactive. Many of its physical and chemical properties are more similar to those of the alkaline earth metals than to those of its own group.
Lithium has a long history in batteries and is a common materials used in batteries today.In 2018, the United States was more than 50% reliant on foreign sources for lithium.
Cobalt is a hard ferromagnetic, silver white, hard, lustrous, brittle element. It is a member of group VIII of the periodic table like iron, it can be magnetized. It is similar to iron and nickel in its physical properties. The element is active chemically, forming many compounds. Cobalt is stable in air and unaffected by water, but it is slowly attacked by dilute acids.
On global basis, the leading use of cobalt is in rechargeable battery electrodes. In 2018, the United States relied on foreign sources for 61% of the cobalt it consumed.
Manganese is a pinkish-gray, chemically active element. It is a hard metal and is very brittle. It is hard to melt, but easily oxidized. Manganese is reactive when pure, and as a powder it will burn in oxygen,it reacts with water(it rusts like iron) and dissolve in dilute acids.
Manganese serves as an electrode in many lithium batteries.The United States was 100% reliant on foreign sources for manganese in 2018.
It is a naturally occurring form of crystalline carbon. It is a native element mineral found in metamorphic and igneous rocks. Graphite is a mineral of extremes. It is extremely soft, cleaves with very high pressure, and has a very low specific gravity, it is extremely resistant to heat and nearly inert in contact with almost any other material.
Graphite serves as an electrode in many lithium batteries .In 2018, the United States was 100% reliant on foreign sources for graphite.
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