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Thread: Not enough cobalt?

  1. #1

    Not enough cobalt?

    This is interesting....and dovetails with the fact that lithium mining - lithium another key ingredient for electric cars and solar power both - is so massively destructive to the land where it is found.

    Lot's of "green" things are not.

    https://www.economist.com/business/2...ctric-vehicles
    "I've got to start eating at home more" - J. Dahmer

  2. #2
    Imagine No Democrats Kyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilligan View Post
    This is interesting....and dovetails with the fact that lithium mining - lithium another key ingredient for electric cars and solar power both - is so massively destructive to the land where it is found.

    Lot's of "green" things are not.

    https://www.economist.com/business/2...ctric-vehicles
    Meh. They'll "Buy a Tree" for the amazon and call it even.

    ___________________________________________________________
    "If You Donít Read the Newspaper You Are Uninformed, If You Do Read the Newspaper You Are Misinformed." - Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Power with Control glhs837's Avatar
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    https://cleantechnica.com/2018/06/17...-elon-commits/

    Earlier this month, Panasonic announced that it was in the process of developing cobalt-free EV batteries. As the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive lithium-ion battery cells and Tesla’s exclusive battery cell supplier for the Model 3, Model S, and Model X, Panasonic and its announcements hold real weight.
    Then again, even today, Tesla’s cobalt usage really is not that significant to the composition of Tesla’s battery cells. Tesla and Panasonic are apparently leading the EV field when it comes to minimizing cobalt usage
    "I am capable of much unpleasantness."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilligan View Post
    This is interesting....and dovetails with the fact that lithium mining - lithium another key ingredient for electric cars and solar power both - is so massively destructive to the land where it is found.

    Lot's of "green" things are not.

    https://www.economist.com/business/2...ctric-vehicles
    Can't log in because it's paywalled. But the argument has been debunked. Plenty of cobalt to go around, just that most mines have been shut down due to the ability of supplies from the Congo to undercut their price (same as Lithium). But given how small the amount of Cobalt is in the anode of modern lithium-cobalt batteries (it's 3%) the expected 2-3x increase in price (the estimated level at which its cost effective to build new mines) wouldn't really affect the bottom line.

    More importantly, Cobalt is actually on the way out. Panasonic has already stated their new lithium batteries will be cobalt free.

    The environmental issue with Lithium are harder to fix (at least cost effectively). One solution is to remove the lithium salts from ocean desalination plants.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Clem72 View Post
    Can't log in because it's paywalled. But the argument has been debunked.
    The googler did show earlier articles on the topic, now that I look. They make the same claims though...where are they debunked?

    Cobalt is important in building high-performance electric motors, not just batteries.
    "I've got to start eating at home more" - J. Dahmer

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilligan View Post
    The googler did show earlier articles on the topic, now that I look. They make the same claims though...where are they debunked?

    Cobalt is important in building high-performance electric motors, not just batteries.
    This was maybe the third link on my first search on the googler for "new cobalt mine" https://www.streetwisereports.com/ar...roduction.html

    But by debunked I meant the argument(s) that cobalt production would impact battery production or that cobalt is "rare". Both arguments are invalidated by the fact that battery tech has already progressed to the point where cobalt is unnecessary, and that cobalt is becoming valuable enough that actual cobalt mines are being opened (vice relying on mining cobalt as a biproduct of mining other things like copper). So we don't actually need the cobalt, and once it became valuable we overnight found a huge new minable source right here in the good ole US of A.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Clem72 View Post
    This was maybe the third link on my first search on the googler for "new cobalt mine" https://www.streetwisereports.com/ar...roduction.html

    But by debunked I meant the argument(s) that cobalt production would impact battery production or that cobalt is "rare". Both arguments are invalidated by the fact that battery tech has already progressed to the point where cobalt is unnecessary, and that cobalt is becoming valuable enough that actual cobalt mines are being opened (vice relying on mining cobalt as a biproduct of mining other things like copper). So we don't actually need the cobalt, and once it became valuable we overnight found a huge new minable source right here in the good ole US of A.
    I repeat..Cobalt is an essential ingredient in high-performance DC motors and generators (one and the same, really)..so it's still an important element, to be sure.

    Be interesting to see when the next big breakthrough in battery technology/energy storage comes from..it's the current "Holy Grail".
    "I've got to start eating at home more" - J. Dahmer

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