Wednesday , December 2 2020

EV batteries are born in Chile evaporation pits

Salar de Atacama is a salt apartment of an ancient sea bed which contains huge reserves of lithium lithium under its face ("salar" means "salt flat"). It is cut in the east by the Andean mountains, and to the west by another range of the name Cordillera de Demoyko. This is the world's highest and drier desert (1.4 miles above sea level) the incredible sun would damage your skin in a few minutes.

Immediately to the east is Lascar volcano, one of the most active in Chile and part of an extremely active region of the Central Volcanic Domain. Salt blades are regularly reinforced with snow having melted from the mountains and streams that come in, and maybe the lithium and other salts in the flats derived from neighboring volcanoes.

The carbonadata salads are excavated in the same way that they can be eaten fleur de sel which is well-known in Guérande and elsewhere. Rubber pump companies that include lithium to the surface, where it is fed through canals to plastic evaporation pits.

Wider Image: Fighting water raises questions over Chile enjoying lithium

Water flowing in a canal in front of Lascar's volcano at Salar de Atacama (Reuters / Ivan Alvarado)

Thanks to high evaporation rates and low levels of deposition (about one inch per year) the water disappears rapidly, leaving deposits of lithium, boron and other salts. It will then be collected and transported to the city of Antofagasta port near to process. Much of it eventually finds its way to lithium-ion batteries manufactured by Panasonic, Tesla, Samsung, LG Chem and others.

The square blocks in the images are the evaporation ponds, with lighter colors identifying higher concentrations of lithium. They are replenished by canals and pumps, which are shown as grid patterns around the ponds. Two of the largest lithium miners in the world – namely Abermarle Corp and SQM Chile – operate a few miles apart in the basin.

A combination of climatic and geographical factors make Salar de Atacama lithium beds being one of the most productive in the world, more than adjoining flats in Bolivia and Argentina. However, increasing production to meet the increasing demand for lithium has created local conflicts.

The mining companies have been accused of pumping more charm that the ecosystem can support, draining the underground aquifers supporting indigenous communities and rare trees and plants in the region. "When people ask me," Is the water going to an end? "I tell them," The truth is, we do not know, "he said, Marian Cervetto's geologist Reuters.

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