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Is Silicon the new Lithium?

  • Posted by on December 25, 2009 in Business
  • During the final week of the Copenhagen climate talks, Bolivian president Evo Morales emerged as one of the most outspoken opponents of the UNFCC climate negotiations and its free-market, capitalist approach. In the past such socialist provocations would be ignored, but there is a reason everyone is listening to Evo now.

    If it weren't for Bolivia, the electric car industry wouldn't even stand a chance. Lithium carbonate is not an overly abundant mineral and nearly every auto manufacturer is banking on the reserve of lithium that rests quietly in the Bolivian Andes, representing more than one half of the world's supply.

    Lithium batteries, while lighter and longer-lasting than then their nickel-cadmium and lead-acid predecessors, are not easily recycled and are prone to problems when they encounter high humidity and heat conditions.

    But in one fell swoop, a recent announcement from the Technion-Israel Institute may rather quickly make the lithium-ion battery a thing of the past.

    Read more: Karl’s tech blog on MNN.com.


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