The general perspective is battery technology has been slower to develop than others
Lithium batteries are a ubiquitous part of our lives. Smartphones are the obvious example, and the march to electric everything continues at an incredible pace – cars, skateboards, robots and even smart clothing.
The general perspective is battery technology has been slower to develop than other technologies - but when you consider what it takes to power our modern-day gadgets and transport, and the amazing functions these offer. I think it’s incredible what’s been achieved.
At the heart of this revolution is a lithium – the third element in the periodic table and a substance present in virtually all rocks.
It’s the lightest known metal and is also used in fireworks, cosmetics, in the manufacture of aircraft and as a psychiatric medication. Lithium-ion batteries have some of the highest energy densities of any battery technology and deliver three times the voltage of nickel-based batteries.
Demand for lithium is increasing exponentially. It doubled in price between 2016 and 2018.
Ultimately, we are all derived from stardust, but lithium, together with hydrogen and helium, are the only elements created at the birth of the universe. There’s even been a couple of songs written about it (Nirvana and Evanescence). We even used to drink it in 7up, which was launched in 1929 as ‘Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda’ with a recipe that contained lithium citrate until 1948. When swiping your social account spare a thought for this remarkable metal.