Blogs

Is Bolivia The Next Major Lithium Producer?

You have lithium all around you. It’s in your cell phone, your tablet, your computer, and possibly even in your car if you own a hybrid or electric vehicle. Where does all this lithium come from? The majority of lithium is extracted from brine and comes from South America. Currently, Chile and Argentina are the leading producers of lithium from brine. As the global need for lithium continues to sky rocket (we love our electronics), all eyes are on the South American country of Bolivia which sits on half the known lithium reserves.   Bolivia is now working to begin extracting its stores of lithium with the intention of becoming a global lithium producer. ORS executives recently had the opportunity to visit Bolivia to demonstrate the

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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Technology Detects Specific Elements

The MobiLab130 is an instrument that measures the concentration of specific elements in levels as low as part per million. How does such an instrument work? The science is easily understood, and in simple terms, it has to do with how specific elements behave when placed in a magnetic field. Every atom contains a specific number of protons and neutrons, which determines the element and its isotope. The combination of protons and neutrons give the property of nuclear spin. For example, there are 3 isotopes of hydrogen, hydrogen, deuterium, and tritium, all three respond differently in a magnetic field. Hydrogen has a single proton, deuterium has one proton and one neutron and tritium has one proton and two neutro...

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The ABC’s of Lithium Production in South America

South America is a major producer of the world’s lithium in an area known as the "The Lithium Triangle" joining Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. Each of these countries are at different points in the quest to meet the projected demand for lithium needed for tomorrow's energy storage demands. In Chile, two major companies produce most of battery-grade lithium carbonate which comes from the Atacama desert, whereas Argentina is regarded as an upstart producing lithium at the Salar de Hombre Muerto.  Bolivia is looking to become a global producer of lithium because the Salar de Uyuni contains a large majority of the world’s lithium reserves, but challenges abound for this aspiring supplier. One Resonance Sensors visited the Ministry of Mining and Metallurgy/COMIBOL in L...

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Where Will You Find Lithium-Ion Batteries?

The magic behind long battery life is the switch to lithium-ion batteries, which provide immense energy density (the ability to hold a large amount of energy) and a slow loss of charge when not in use. Lithium-ion batteries are also more lightweight than comparable batteries, making them ideal for hybrid vehicles, military applications and portable electronics. As more and more consumer electronics adopt lithium-ion batteries, the only thing slowing down the trend toward lithium is access to this rare and very valuable metal. As known lithium deposits are quickly depleted, it is becoming more and more difficult to find new sources. The MobiLab 130 Elemental Analyzer is an eff...

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Why Lithium May Become An Energy Leader

The world runs on energy. We need gasoline for our cars, electricity to keep lights aglow, and power to watch our favorite shows on television, keep our food cold, and much, much more. As the world economy grows, the need for power is greater than ever. Unfortunately, most fuel sources come with heavy burdens. Oil and gas emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, impacting the environment. Clean energy proponents have been pushing wind energy, solar energy and even ocean energy for decades, but energy storage tends to be the limiting component of the technology that prevents having these solutions delivered to the consumers. Many manufactures have focused on using higher energy storage batteries. Lithium batteries are becoming increasingly popular in hybrid vehi...

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