Super Volcanos Provide New Lithium Source

SEP 23 2017 BY MARK KANE 16

Fast growing demand for lithium resources has redirected the attention of some scientists to search for new ways of sourcing the element…that is, other than extracting brines in Chile or mining in Australia.

Long Valley Caldera in California was formed 760,000 years ago when a colossal volcanic eruption released very hot ash that later cooled to form the Bishop tuff that is common to the area (source: Wiki)

Recently, Stanford researchers discovered that lithium can be found in supervolcanos, and have published new details on a method for locating lithium in supervolcanic lake deposits in Nature Communications.

“Stanford researchers show that lake sediments preserved within ancient supervolcanoes can host large lithium-rich clay deposits.”

“The findings represent an important step toward diversifying the supply of this valuable silvery-white metal, since lithium is an energy-critical strategic resource, said study co-author Gail Mahood, a professor of geological sciences at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.”

Whether the calderas, called the ideal depositional basin for lithium, will become a new lithium source on a mass-scale, is of course still an open question.

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16 Comments on "Super Volcanos Provide New Lithium Source"

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The best part is that it is a renewable resource. If we use it all up, it will be replenished the next time it blows. 🙂

True, but entire region is generally obliterated.

But these are mostly pristine, natural areas devoid of any development to this point. The environmentalists will not want large, industrial mineral extraction operations around these volcanos. But we need the lithium to produce more EVs to break our dependence on fossil fuels. Whatever shall we do? 🙂

Develop super capacitors that don’t need strategic, supply constrained, mineral resources. Or, work on the development of the zero point energy field and its mysteries.

Only the Ancients know how to build ZPM’s. Plus it’s too much power for a wheeled vehicle.

I think Daniel was able to modify ZPMs with the help of Merlin’s plans to make them work for cars.

Zero point energy? I say forget about fiddling around with halfway measures. Go straight for perpetual motion!

Give up cars, which is what we will do eventually anyway, but only after missing out on really sustainable transportation options.

Yep, this is a very good point.

It might be better to continue extraction of Li brine even if it’s much more expensive than getting it from clay deposits in calderas.

You basically have to price in the value of having pristine green spaces to the recoverable Lithium in these places.

We need to get one of the many new batteries out of the lab and into commercial production that does not need lithium.

Brines should supply all the lithium we’ll need for a long time. If we ever run out then recycling should provide the bulk of our needs, so the price for the make up lithium won’t matter much.

Geothermal brine is rich in lithium. Geo power plants will have another source of revenue.

No one is going to be allowed to mine Crater Lake, other calderas, I don’t know.
Clearly not Yellowstone, which is active anyway. Maybe Lake Toba.

Lithium is available from the Salton Sea in California and many other places. We can recycle lithium, there is no shortage.

Tesla tried to buy simbol minerals for 200+ m several years ago.
Now a Chinese company just bought them for less than 20 M and are negotiating for Salton seas.

American companies are now ran by idiots.

You “ran by idiots” response is correct, in that it uses the past tense of of run! ?

Eighter the American history, of its once prosperous companies, is that of “has beens”, or that of the languishing “once was” crowd.
It is hard to choose, in your well stated case above.