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Resource Lifecycle: Chromium Essay Example


  • Lithium is a chemical element with atomic number 3.
  • It is a soft alkali metal with a silvery-white appearance.
  • This is the lightest metal and least weighted solid element.
  • This alkali metal is highly weightless, although very flammable and highly reactive (, 2019).
  • Lithium must be stored in inert liquid and is held in vacuums or static solutions such as kerosene.
  • Lithium presents a glowing luster rapidly corroded by air on the first cut to a dark silver, black tarnish.


  • Lithium is commonly used in batteries and is a critical resource with increasing electric vehicles, cell phones, and solar power systems.
  • Mineral enriched brines provide a vast array of hydrogeological challenges for exploration, characterization, and quantifying deposits of minerals resources and reserves according to industry standards.
  • Deposits can be enhanced from minerals resources to mineral reserves by experts.
  • Accurate estimates depend on the spatial differences of fluid density and dissolved mineral concentration, including investigations that occur before, during, and after the mining period (, 2019).
  • Once extracted, it is essential to determine the hydraulic parameters of a host aquifer and the potential to dilute the mineral deposits during extraction using freshwater sources.
  • From a hydrogeology perspective, the processing works can include field surveys and evaluations of extraction wells generally used to produce brine.


  • There are various methods of extracting lithium.
  • Battery-grade lithium: mining and acid leaching spodumene ores to produce lithium sulfate solution.
  • Concentrate and precipitate as lithium carbonates from brine solutions through evaporation ponds
  • Lithium absorption from saline water through an ion-exchange type material or beads before releasing through flushing with hydrochloric acid.
  • Emerging methods include water refining technology. Generally, a brine concentration through chemical conversion procedures changes the form of lithium before washing and final crystallization.
  • Direct lithium extraction operates differently by increasing the concentration of lithium chloride solution to convert to battery-grade lithium carbonates solids.


  • For the highest quality lithium and yields, the primary target is impurities to precipitate lithium forms selectively.
  • A combination of chemical conversion processes and robust ceramic ultrafiltration to derive precise, pre-packaged, and automated chemical processing (, 2019).
  • A salt maker evaporator crystallizer concentrates the lithium brine and crystallizes solid battery-grade lithium hydroxide from the solution.
  • Scale senses provide real-time measurements of specific ions, such as calcium, enabling enhanced process control that boosts purity and yield.


  • Lithium has no significant biological findings due to its toxic effects.
  • The primary application of lithium is rechargeable batteries, including digital technologies, laptops, mobile phones, and even electric vehicles.
  • Lithium also works in various non-rechargeable batteries, like heart pacemakers.
  • Lithium is molded into alloys alongside magnesium and aluminum to increase their strength. Lithium alloys are vital for light aircraft, high-speed trains.
  • Lithium is also used in unique glass ceramics because it has one of the best-known hygroscopic properties.

Waste/ Recycling

  • Lithium products such as batteries comprise different chemicals, and improper disposals can have adverse outcomes, including environmental pollution and loss of resources.
  • Its high reactivity makes it challenging to control. For instance, an exothermic reaction can originate high temperature, high charging voltage, short circuit, or heavy strain, increasing the risks for a rapid-fire (Jacoby, 2019).
  • Disposal should be done by listed treatment facilities at household e-waste collection points or recycling drop-off points.
  • Lifecycle services support safe electronic recycling and include outsourcing for dismantling, sorting, and material recovery of devices and batteries.


Jacoby, M. (2019). It’s time to get serious about recycling lithium-ion batteries. Chemical & Engineering News. (2019). Interior releases 2018’s final list of 35 minerals deemed critical to U.S. national security and the economy. | Science for a changing world.

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