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  • Jash Kikani

Why are Batteries not a Long-Term Solution to the Green Energy Crisis?

We are all aware of the use of electric vehicles and the global revolution that has taken place as a result of the substitution of fossil fuels with electrical battery energy sources. Most countries are already taking steps to promote the change of energy sources from fossil fuels to batteries. One of the most commonly used batteries is the lithium-ion battery. This battery uses Lithium as the metal at its anode and cathode. They seem pretty convenient, right? But today we shall look at the reasons why they are not the most sustainable.


Firstly, what are these batteries?

They are the type of rechargeable battery that uses the reversible reduction of lithium ions to store energy. It is the predominant battery type used in portable consumer electronics and electric vehicles.


But now we come to the main question, why are they not sustainable?

The depletion of lithium metal is one of the primary reasons for this. The increased dependence of society on electric batteries has led us to use Lithium at a faster rate than it is renewed. According to a study, once EVs dominate the car market, there would only be about 70 years' worth of lithium left until the identified global reserves are themselves depleted. EVs are already surging in popularity in the international market, and their domination in the car market in a few years, is not difficult to imagine. Finding a metal that is as abundantly found as lithium, as well as equally efficient in batteries, is surely going to be a cumbersome task.


What is an alternative to this dark future?

Well, to start off with, the global lithium reserves only refer to the minable lithium. However, there is an identified store of elements in the oceans, and lithium happens to be one of them. So even if we cannot instantly find an alternative to these batteries, it is not alarmingly urgent for us to do so. We can take some time to find that alternative. Moreover, there are two types of alternatives to Lithium-ion batteries. Firstly, we have alternate metals that can be used instead of lithium, such as Sodium, Magnesium, etc. or secondly, we can completely discard the idea of using batteries and instead, use Biofuel, a fuel that is formed over a short time span from biomass, rather than by the very slow natural processes involved in the formation of fossil fuels.


Although batteries are a large energy contributor to devices running on electricity and play a major role in all of our lives, 70 years is a long period of time, and at the pace with which humanity is making progress, it is only a matter of time before we find a sustainable alternative energy source.


Bibliography

  1. Kingsley-Hughes, Adrian. “Are we in danger of running out of lithium for rechargeable batteries?” ZDNET. 15 Aug, 2022. Web. 21 Oct, 2022. <https://www.zdnet.com/article/are-we-in-danger-of-running-out-of-lithium-for-rechargeable-batteries/>


  1. n.a. “Lithium-Ion Battery.” Clean Energy Institute. 25 Sep, 2022. Web. 21 Oct, 2022. <https://www.cei.washington.edu/education/science-of-solar/battery-technology/>


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