EVs are bad for the environment

theHawk

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Turns out that lithium used to make car batteries for Electric Vehicles is bad for the environment, at least they way they need to mine for it.

Simply put, lithium, in its pure form, doesn't occur naturally on Earth. So in order to obtain it, it must be mined through hard rock or salar brines. More importantly, salar brines -- the most economical and popular way of obtaining lithium -- destroy the environment. Friends of the Earth, Europe states:


The extraction of lithium has significant environmental and social impacts, especially due to water pollution and depletion. In addition, toxic chemicals are needed to process lithium. The release of such chemicals through leaching, spills or air emissions can harm communities, ecosystems and food production. Moreover, lithium extraction inevitably harms the soil and also causes air contamination.

And, the European Commission on Science for Environmental Policy states that "[lithium's] continued use needs to be monitored, especially as lithium mining's toxicity and location in places of natural beauty can cause significant environmental, health, and social impacts."

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Old Rocks

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Lithium Mining | Rodinia Lithium

Lithium Mining
Lithium has historically been produced from two sources: brines and hard rock mining. A third source, hectorite clays, has been identified but production methods have not been proven.

The traditional hard-rock mining of pegmatites containing the lithium bearing silicate spudomene is time, energy and cost intensive. Lithium is the thirty-third most frequently occurring mineral so it is not exactly scare, but concentrations are generally too low, and extraction too difficult and costly to be viable. The major trend in the lithium industry has been a transition from hard rock mining-based sources of lithium to brine-based ones. The cost-effectiveness of brine operations forced even large producers in China and Russia to develop their own brine sources or buy raw materials from brine producers.

The economics of obtaining lithium carbonate from brine are so favorable that most hard rock production has been priced out of the market. Lithium brines are currently the only lithium source that can support mining without significant other credits from tantalum, niobium, tin etc., (low manganese content within Nevada’s Clayton Valley brines significantly reduces recovery costs unlike Chile’s high manganese content brine deposits). Lithium brine resources are now the preferred method of lithium recovery.

The only lithium producing plant in North America is located in Clayton Valley, Nevada, USA. The facility was opened in 1967 and has been producing lithium carbonate from brines ever since.

Recovering lithium from brines is not considered hard rock mining, it is classified the same as placer and permitting is much easier and quicker.

Lithium recovery from brines could lead to a huge carbon footprint reduction because of a nearly zero-waste mining method.
Once the lithium is recovered the chemicals used can be recycled, also the by-products include saleable compounds such as potash and/or boron.
 
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Old Rocks

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http://www.geothermal-energy.org/pdf/IGAstandard/Russia/MEGB-2006/20Bloomquist.pdf

The current market for lithium is estimated at approximately $350 million per year for use in the
production of ceramics, glass, and aluminum and in rechargeable lithium batteries. Total U. S.
consumption of lithium compounds is approximately 2,800 metric tons per year while the
potential production of lithium from a single 50 MWe geothermal plant in the Salton Sea
geothermal area could potentially produce in excess of 3,400 metric tons per year thus flooding
the United States and world markets and almost certainly driving the market price for lithium
down.
 

Old Rocks

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The article in the OP has to be one of the most amazingly ill informed and least researched articles I have ever seen. The mining of lithium is one of the least damaging forms of mining known. The brines it mines cannot be used for any other purpose. And they are in deserts that support little to no agriculture.
 

Politico

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Turns out? Where have you been under a rock? And they're not good for the environment because of the battery process not the mining.
 

Old Rocks

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This is what was posted in the OP;

Simply put, lithium, in its pure form, doesn't occur naturally on Earth. So in order to obtain it, it must be mined through hard rock or salar brines. More importantly, salar brines -- the most economical and popular way of obtaining lithium -- destroy the environment. Friends of the Earth, Europe states:


The extraction of lithium has significant environmental and social impacts, especially due to water pollution and depletion. In addition, toxic chemicals are needed to process lithium. The release of such chemicals through leaching, spills or air emissions can harm communities, ecosystems and food production. Moreover, lithium extraction inevitably harms the soil and also causes air contamination.

And, the European Commission on Science for Environmental Policy states that "[lithium's] continued use needs to be monitored, especially as lithium mining's toxicity and location in places of natural beauty can cause significant environmental, health, and social impacts."

It said nothing about the batteries themselves.

However, in what way are the lithium batteries any more toxic than lead-acid batteries? And the article discusses the toxic qualities of the nickel in the batteries. And ignores all the tools and guns that are nickel plated. It is a junk article, full of missinformation and nonsense.
 
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theHawk

theHawk

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This is what was posted in the OP;

Simply put, lithium, in its pure form, doesn't occur naturally on Earth. So in order to obtain it, it must be mined through hard rock or salar brines. More importantly, salar brines -- the most economical and popular way of obtaining lithium -- destroy the environment. Friends of the Earth, Europe states:


The extraction of lithium has significant environmental and social impacts, especially due to water pollution and depletion. In addition, toxic chemicals are needed to process lithium. The release of such chemicals through leaching, spills or air emissions can harm communities, ecosystems and food production. Moreover, lithium extraction inevitably harms the soil and also causes air contamination.

And, the European Commission on Science for Environmental Policy states that "[lithium's] continued use needs to be monitored, especially as lithium mining's toxicity and location in places of natural beauty can cause significant environmental, health, and social impacts."

It said nothing about the batteries themselves.

However, in what way are the lithium batteries any more toxic than lead-acid batteries? And the article discusses the toxic qualities of the nickel in the batteries. And ignores all the tools and guns that are nickel plated. It is a junk article, full of missinformation and nonsense.
The article did talk about the batteries themselves, liar:

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy undertook a study to look at the environmental impact of lithium-ion batteries for EVs. The study showed that batteries that use cathodes with nickel and cobalt, as well as solvent-based electrode processing, have the highest potential for environmental impacts, including resource depletion, global warming, ecological toxicity, and human health. The largest contributing processes include those associated with the production, processing, and use of cobalt and nickel metal compounds, which may cause adverse respiratory, pulmonary, and neurological effects in those exposed.
It also got its information from an EPA study itself....so how can you call it misinformed?
 

Old Rocks

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This is what was posted in the OP;

Simply put, lithium, in its pure form, doesn't occur naturally on Earth. So in order to obtain it, it must be mined through hard rock or salar brines. More importantly, salar brines -- the most economical and popular way of obtaining lithium -- destroy the environment. Friends of the Earth, Europe states:


The extraction of lithium has significant environmental and social impacts, especially due to water pollution and depletion. In addition, toxic chemicals are needed to process lithium. The release of such chemicals through leaching, spills or air emissions can harm communities, ecosystems and food production. Moreover, lithium extraction inevitably harms the soil and also causes air contamination.

And, the European Commission on Science for Environmental Policy states that "[lithium's] continued use needs to be monitored, especially as lithium mining's toxicity and location in places of natural beauty can cause significant environmental, health, and social impacts."

It said nothing about the batteries themselves.

However, in what way are the lithium batteries any more toxic than lead-acid batteries? And the article discusses the toxic qualities of the nickel in the batteries. And ignores all the tools and guns that are nickel plated. It is a junk article, full of missinformation and nonsense.
The article did talk about the batteries themselves, liar:

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy undertook a study to look at the environmental impact of lithium-ion batteries for EVs. The study showed that batteries that use cathodes with nickel and cobalt, as well as solvent-based electrode processing, have the highest potential for environmental impacts, including resource depletion, global warming, ecological toxicity, and human health. The largest contributing processes include those associated with the production, processing, and use of cobalt and nickel metal compounds, which may cause adverse respiratory, pulmonary, and neurological effects in those exposed.
It also got its information from an EPA study itself....so how can you call it misinformed?
That is what the article states the study said. Far too many examples right on this board of people stating that a study said something, and upon examination, finding the study said no such thing.
 

mamooth

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So, to conclude, the article says various stuff has to be handled carefully, or it can cause environmental and safety problems.

Hmm. Kind of like fossil fuels, eh? Yet no panic over that.
 

Mr. H.

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So, to conclude, the article says various stuff has to be handled carefully, or it can cause environmental and safety problems.

Hmm. Kind of like fossil fuels, eh? Yet no panic over that.
No panic? The fossil fuel industries are under relentless attack by the Liberal Public, the Liberal Media, and the Liberal Administration.
 

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The question is not "Are EV's bad for the environment?" but "Are EV's less bad than gas powered cars?" And that question may depend on whether or not the charging is powered by coal, and how it will be charged in the future.
 

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