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Lithium Ion Battery and the Environment

Posted By euclion On Fri, Feb 15, 2019

Most of our modern electronic goods are fitted with or operate on some kind of a Lithium ion battery; be it the laptop I am typing on or the mobile device on which you are most probably going to read this write up.
With our modern day obsession with greener energy sources, driven by environmentalism, and our half-literate, half-heart attempts at saving the planet have started this lithium revolution. The Lithium ion battery can be found everywhere, whether it’s the DSLR camera, or the electric scooter, or even a fully functional Tesla Model S.

Such Lithium ion batteries are supposed to reduce the carbon footprints of the users. Obviously, the carbon emission will go down with the use of lithium ion batteries. And it will replace the polluting effects of harmful emissions from combustion engines of cars; generators etc. 12v Lithium ion batteries are very useful for the purposes of invertors, and UPSs. These are effective power back ups but are also useful for certain high voltage mobile power sources like for shooting crews, or research teams who require a lot of power for operations in places which do not have a stable source of power in accessible distance. 12v lithium ion batteries are used in many appliances like emergency lights etc.
Modern societies are adopting the clean energies fast and the lithium ion batteries are at the heart of this. The batteries combined with solar panels are used in large solar energy fields in USA which is part of the country’s attempts to reduce the carbon emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement signed by the country in the year 2015. Moreover the construction of such plants, which is made out of large fields consisting of thousands of solar panels and solar panel batteries, requires a huge workforce. The maintenance also requires a large number of skilled workers. The solar panel batteries are of the same nature as the batteries in your regular cell phone but with much greater storage capacity.

In spite of all the benefits of these technologies, they are not being adopted by majority of populations. This is especially true of developing countries like India. The reason for it is not technological deficiency or awareness. The main reason for this is the lack of economic viability of these projects. The Lithium ion batteries are not very cost effective, the main reason for this is the lack of political will. Unlike the conventional energy sources like coal or petroleum, these are not subsidized or properly managed by the state machinery to reduce the production costs, up and down the value chain.

Yet, there should be a word of caution. Lithium is a naturally occurring mineral resource. Thus like all other natural resources it should be extracted with due diligence. It is necessary that accidents involving leakages from Lithium mines, or putting stress on local resources like water causing large scale ecosystem damages, should be prevented. It is only through such wise use that this lithium revolution will end up in a relatively improved environment.

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