It is pointed out that the lithium supply line, which is indispensable for smartphones and electric vehicles, is becoming complicated.

From smartphones to electric vehicles,

lithium-ion batteries have become indispensable rechargeable batteries in the daily lives of modern people. Required for such a lithium-ion battery lithium supply line of, and demand for lithium-ion battery is complicated as the growing, points out non-profit organizations to conduct research and surveys on a variety of energy 'ClearPath' is.

Supply Chain for Lithium and Critical Minerals Is ... Critical – ClearPath

In 2018, the US Home Office published a list of ' 35 Minerals Important to US Economy and National Security .' This list includes minerals used in batteries, such as graphite, lithium, cobalt and manganese . The United States relies on imports for many of these important minerals.

For example, more than 65% of the cobalt used in the cathode of lithium-ion batteries is produced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo . The Democratic Republic of the Congo is known as a volatile country with many civil wars and coups, which could reduce the world's cobalt supply by a third in the event of a war.

In addition, China has invested in many cobalt mines and controls 70% of the factories that can process cobalt ore for batteries, so it can be said that it has substantial control over the cobalt supply line.



And lithium, which is important for lithium-ion batteries, is also a mineral that must be imported, and the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries is built on the industries of various countries.

Lithium is excavated from brackish water , clay and rocks, but about half of the world's lithium comes from groundwater in South America and Australia, which are rich in lithium salts. For example, electric vehicle maker Tesla has partnered with mines in Australia and Chile to procure lithium.


Grover Schrayer

Then, a process of extracting lithium salts from the assembled groundwater and processing them into lithium compounds is required. It is said that more than 60% of such lithium compounds in the world are processed in China. In fact, the lithium hydroxide that Tesla uses for its batteries is processed by Chinese lithium product maker Gunfon Lithium .

In addition, many of the processes for manufacturing battery cells from materials containing lithium compounds are carried out in China, Japan and South Korea. The lithium-ion battery itself is an indispensable technology for reducing carbon emissions, but when transporting a completed battery cell from South Korea to Michigan in the United States, 4.2 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted per 1kWh. (PDF file) A trial calculation has been issued.

The manufacturing process of lithium-ion batteries, which is built on industries in various countries, is becoming more complicated because the demand for lithium-ion batteries itself supports the mining, processing, and final production of lithium. ClearPath points out that this is a reason. For example, Tesla is pushing for a huge lithium excavation

project in western Australia called the ' Mount Holland Lithium Project, ' which relies on Tesla's increased production of lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium mines and lithium processing facilities are required to have a stable supply, and the price of lithium depends on the global market, so the risk of launching a new lithium-related project is extremely high.

ClearPath states, 'In order to establish a lithium supply line in one country instead of multiple countries, we not only solve environmental and economic problems, but also build excavation, processing, and manufacturing processes. 'It is necessary to do so,' he said. 'With the foundation of high demand, geological potential, and a labor force with abundant manufacturing experience due to the rapid growth of the electric vehicle market, the United States has made the lithium-ion battery manufacturing process domestic. There is a good chance that it can be made in. '

by Nick Ares

in Note, Posted by log1i_yk