No electromobility without lithium Due to the ever-growing battery sector, the demand for lithium has surged over the last years. In 2016, battery grade lithium accounted for about 35% percent of the lithium demand and soared to almost the double quantity of 65% of demand in 2019. Besides batteries, lithium is also used in ceramics and glass, lubricating greases, air treatment, casting and polymers (see figure below). Mining / Production Lithium is being produced from minerals or brines. The exploitation from minerals is relatively quick process, taking only a few days to produce high purity lithium. However, mineral exploitation is costly, requires energy, chemicals and water and produces waste. […]
Cobalt: the indispensable resource in batteries In modern high tech products, cobalt is one of the resources that are indispensable. Its main uses are displayed in the chart below. Currently, cobalt is a crucial ingredient for the manufacturing of all types of Lithium-Ion batteries, which is the main battery type used in electric vehicles. Yet, cobalt is considered as one of the most critical materials due to the high production dominance by the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cobalt is primarily mined and produced as a by-product of nickel and copper production and hence its production is dependent on the mining and extraction of these commodities. Even though the DR Congo […]
The IRTC project, coordinated by ESM Foundation, has published a joint scientific paper by leading international experts on the determination of material criticality. The paper reviews existing criticality assessment methods with the aim of analyzing them, detecting common flaws and suggesting best practices. The consortium currently conducts research on how criticality can be mitigated using circular economy inspired measures, preparing another joint scientific paper. The IRTC project will now enter its second phase “IRTC-Business”, with the long-term goal to develop guidance for companies concerning their exposure to criticality and suitable mitigation measures.
What is the EU’s approach to critical raw materials and what role will they play in Europe’s future challenges? Alessandra Hool, CEO of the ESM Foundation, held a webinar on this topic at the Critical Materials Institute, hosted by the Colorado School of Mines. It showed how the EU Raw Materials Initiative, launched in 2008, created today’s EU institutions and how the EU proceeds in terms of criticality assessment. As an example in which the European industry faces problems with the supply of raw materials, it cites batteries. To find out what else she had to say about today’s challenges and the IRTC project, click hier, to watch the complete webinar.
The EIT Raw Materials Week, edition 2019, was a memorable event where scientific experts, industry leaders and policymakers gathered to discuss raw materials and their crucial role for the future – especially given the challenges that come with the necessary green energy transition. Watch this video to get an impression of last year’s EIT Raw Materials Week – the next one will take place in November 2020.