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Lithium availability and future production outlooks
Global Energy Systems, Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9558-4621
Uppsala Universitet. (Globla Energisystem)
Uppsala Universitet. (Globala Energisystem)
2013 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 110, 252-266 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Lithium is a highly interesting metal, in part due to the increasing interest in lithium-ion batteries. Several recent studies have used different methods to estimate whether the lithium production can meet an increasing demand, especially from the transport sector, where lithium-ion batteries are the most likely technology for electric cars. The reserve and resource estimates of lithium vary greatly between different studies and the question whether the annual production rates of lithium can meet a growing demand is seldom adequately explained. This study presents a review and compilation of recent estimates of quantities of lithium available for exploitation and discusses the uncertainty and differences between these estimates. Also, mathematical curve fitting models are used to estimate possible future annual production rates. This estimation of possible production rates are compared to a potential increased demand of lithium if the International Energy Agency's Blue Map Scenarios are fulfilled regarding electrification of the car fleet. We find that the availability of lithium could in fact be a problem for fulfilling this scenario if lithium-ion batteries are to be used. This indicates that other battery technologies might have to be implemented for enabling an electrification of road transports.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 110, 252-266 p.
Keyword [en]
Peak lithium, Electric vehicles, Lithium production, Lithium supply, Resource-constrained modelling, Lithium battery cars
National Category
Mineral and Mine Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-137179DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2013.04.005ISI: 000321601900024ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84877919300OAI: diva2:678217

QC 20140218

Available from: 2013-12-11 Created: 2013-12-11 Last updated: 2014-02-18Bibliographically approved

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Vikström, Hanna
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