Friday, April 2, 2010

Lithium



From the Wikipedia entry on Lithium:

Carriage and shipment of some kinds of lithium batteries may be prohibited aboard certain types of transportation (particularly aircraft) because of the ability of most types of lithium batteries to fully discharge very rapidly when short-circuited, leading to overheating and possible explosion in a process called thermal runaway. Most consumer lithium batteries have thermal overload protection built-in to prevent this type of incident, or their design inherently limits short-circuit currents. Internal shorts have been known to develop due to manufacturing defects or damage to batteries that can lead to spontaneous thermal runaway.[71]

Yikes! Exploding batteries!

This is an element most of us are vaguely aware of. That will change, thanks mostly to the Lithium-Ion batteries used in electric cars and gas/electric hybrids in what is expected to be an explosion of such cars in the 4 years ahead.


Also from that article:

According to one cosmogenic theory, lithium was one of the few elements synthesized in the Big Bang, albeit in relatively small quantities. Since its current estimated abundance in the universe is vastly less than that predicted by physical theories, the processes by which new lithium is created and destroyed, and the true value of its abundance,[1] continue to be active matters of study in astronomy.[2][3][4] The nuclei of lithium are relatively fragile: the two stable lithium isotopes found in nature have lower binding energies per nucleon than any other stable compound nuclides, save deuterium, and helium-3 (3He).[5] Though very light in atomic weight, lithium is less common in the solar system than 25 of the first 32 chemical elements.[6]

and

Trace amounts of lithium are present in the oceans and in some organisms, though the element serves no apparent vital biological function in humans. The lithium ion Li+ administered as any of several lithium salts has proved to be useful as a mood stabilizing drug due to neurological effects of the ion in the human body. Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, high strength-to-weight alloys used in aircraft, and lithium batteries. Lithium also has important links to nuclear physics. The transmutation of lithium atoms to tritium was the first man-made form of a nuclear fusion reaction, and lithium deuteride serves as a fusion fuel in staged thermonuclear weapons.


21 comments:

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

A niece piece on Lithium and would wonder what is also running through you mind in respect to this primal element. As for me the thing I found intriguing was your comment as to Lithium batteries found in electric and some hybrid cars and the potential hazard they propose. I to have thought about this, yet rather as to realize that a battery is not the correct solution, not simply because of the hazards involved, yet also as an energy source it is no real replacement for fossil fuels in terms of convenience and practicality, especially for longer trips where waiting several hours for recharging is simply not the answer. Also the hybrid concept, although better than nothing has had many to believe that two engines could be better than one, rather than being what it is as unnecessarily complex and expensive.

Now interestingly enough there is a answer to this, being what’s called a super capacitor that has electricity stored more as a direct potential, rather than a by-product of a chemical reaction. This can have the potential of storing per weight/volume the same or even more then batteries and yet able to be recharged in a few minutes opposed to several hours. Still more interesting is the technology involved being nano technology with carbon as the base element (ironic isn’t it).

So then I find it curious that we give more attention to what nature for the most part ignores in terms of utilty, rather then what it has found as so useful. This is one of the places I find Obama has not lived up to being as enlightened as he claims, as instead of pumping billions of dollars into maintaining the status quo of the past, he could have directed only a fraction of this to create a technology that holds the promise to not only America’s future, yet more importantly the planet as a whole. I ask where are the J.F.K.’s of the world when we need them the most as rhetoric is no replacement for vision?

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

Well regarding Obama, he has 3 of the following 4 things required to be a GREAT President (like Teddy Roosevelt, the last truly GREAT one), the lack of the last of which will crush him:

- Moral
- Intelligent
- Eloquent (personable)
- Experience in Foreign Affairs (knowledge, the lack of which being THE unfortunate drawback of youth)

Exploding Lithium batteries don't bother me, except in inevitable car crashes Phil, and even then the current and future engineering is good. I'm not worried.

Lithium is a scare resource, Phil. Not so much now, but in 5 years when the number of Lithium-Ion batteries demanded will increase fivefold.

Bolivia has the most Lithium. China knows that and is cornering the market.

I smell business opportunity here, for the wise and enlightened. Read the recent TIME magazine article on same, here.

I smell money, and investments that can pay off in 5 years.

Time to use my MBA, and dig into the details.

:-)

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

I wish you luck in cashing in on this and would agree that in the short term it may be a good investment. However it just looks to be something that the U.S. will be forced to play catch up in and never truly lead. I see current problems as requiring more revolutionary ideas, scale of investment and effort, with seeing all of this as attempting to stay afloat by improving our buggy whips and hardly transformative.

You country lead the way into space with such vision and long term planning, to then eventually crash on the rocks because of the dream of quick, easy and short term riches. All I’m saying, hasn’t anything been learned from this. Can you imagine a country where their political and industrial leaders look to their futures in the long term like the Japanese have for years and yet with far more to begin with in terms of boldness, vision and natural resource. There was a time when I thought this place was the U.S of A and now I’m wondering if such a place exists anymore at all.

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

As I’m addressing an MBA were you not taught in school that where you end up will seldom if ever be able to exceed your vision, which all begins with the BHAG. The most important being it's clear to all and something seen as worth striving for to have it accomplished. I would ask if what Obama so often cites as CHANGE would fit the definition ond the criteria?

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

Phil, you madman you ...

I have absolutely no agenda, other than my wife and kids and I don't have to build a lean-to in order to keep out the rain and the illnesses that would result from from not living under such, to survive. I write what I write to help my family and friends such as yourself to survive, that's it.

Since nobody reads this blog of mine, because I am selfless and don't promote it, mum's the word Phil. Act while the acting is good.

Interesting factoid, Phil. I just heard Rush Limbaugh trashing Lithium-Ion on Fox News Conservative Propaganda Radio re Lithium-Ion (for the "environmental issues", heh).

Since Rush is an obvious stooge of ExxonMobil as is Lubos, they're worried.

So there's something behind my words.

:-)

Get in while the getting in is good, would be my advice. 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2014 will be too late.

My two cents.

Steven Colyer said...

Phil, you madman you ...

I have absolutely no agenda, other than my wife and kids and I don't have to build a lean-to in order to keep out the rain and the illnesses that would result from from not living under such, to survive. I write what I write to help my family and friends such as yourself to survive, that's it.

Since nobody reads this blog of mine, because I am selfless and don't promote it, mum's the word Phil. Act while the acting is good.

Interesting factoid, Phil. I just heard Rush Limbaugh trashing Lithium-Ion on Fox News Conservative Propaganda Radio re Lithium-Ion (for the "environmental issues", heh).

Since Rush is an obvious stooge of ExxonMobil as is Lubos, they're worried.

So there's something behind my words.

:-)

Get in while the getting in is good, would be my advice. 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2014 will be too late.

My two cents.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

As it seems the two of us are both in a position and time in our lives when leading the charge is something behind us. None the less I appreciate the advice and will track the progress as we may later laugh about it all. One thing I still see I can do if not lead the charge, is rally the troops and encourage those I see as having the right metal to feel they still have reason to dream. As for Exxon in it being just another faceless, souless multinational I can’t be certain I can say it has a motive for its action, only a reason to be. Then again isn’t that the central question we all would like answered more generally :-)

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

Oh, and by the way Phil, since I've taken on the biggest entity on the planet and will probably have my brains blown out the next time I empty the garbage, here is what I wish to be my epitaph , the same as William Clifford of Clifford Algebras (Dirac re-invented it!) fame. It's perfect. Sorry we never met in person, Phil. You rule.

"I was not, and was conceived. I loved and did a little work. I am not and grieve not." - William Kingdon Clifford

Don't cry for me, Argentina. It's been a good run.

:-)

(Gotta end with a smile)

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

Like I said, both faceless and soulless, which is to have us agree rather than not. That’s to say to whom would you assign motive, the CEO or board of directors or perhaps those they work for being the shareholders? That’s what I mean as having a reason to be, yet not sure to whom to assign motive, even if there is one.

No I’m afraid for me that it all comes down to people and the freer they are to make decisions, the more responsible they are as to outcome. And yes I would agree as individuals we are powerless to effect change, yet before we decide what needs to be changed, we first need to know what it is we are wanting to have in its steed. I hear all kinds of words out their like green and sustainable, which are related more to a mounting fear of being able to survive, as having exceeded our bounds, rather than a vision inspiring people to having reason for living. And yes I would agree that no one nation can serve as the inspiration for all, yet none the less there are those that lead and those that simply follow. So what I’m saying if the people of the land of the free and the home of the brave now resign themselves to being the land of the enslaved and home of the fearful; how then does this serve to help?

Oh yes I still do have a BHAG, which is to touch the mind of someone new every day, whom even if they remain a stranger will in sharing a thought form a common bond. Further, that this BHAG become one day the strongest of ambitions among all people, as realizing this is what it is to be creatures capable of understanding.

By the way I’m not worried about having to read you epitaph anytime soon, not saying that your contentions may be wrong, yet rather you are not large enough a threat and as you know when it comes to big business it’s all the bottom line. One curious thing however your post before last I did not receive in my email box so perhaps they find censorship this way easier and more cost effective:-)



Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

Now on the other hand if you happen to see this fellow when putting out the garbage I’d be a little more concerned:-)

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

Phil, I won't "see" him, not if he does his job right. One gun, one shot, one death, just like US Navy Seals on Somali pirates on the high seas.

Case closed, except ...

Yeah, "shareholders" Phil. Avg. IQ: 90. Rich dudes at the country club or yacht club. They don't care about anyone, except how many Ukrainian hookers they lay, per day, and how much they screw over their fellows. We're all "the great unwashed," to them.

Assholes.

Steven Colyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

Well maybe so , yet those are the faceless, what about the Gates, Buffets, Brinns and Pages of the world. I don’t know how it appears to you, yet these people seem to have more as motives how much they can personally enjoy and or consume. They also have visions which we all apparently could understand, yet from the sense I get the great unwashed as you call them don’t even care enough to have them be understood.

Therefore my contention remains that even if there was a saviour today, they would go unheeded, as the average person doesn’t have the attention span great enough to have any idea what a better world would look like, beyond what can be explained in a Tweet. They have deemed this as the information age, yet I would ask information about what and how many are actually informed. It’s amazing really when I consider my youth and look around toady at how now people feel they are better educated then ever before and yet then only come to realize it’s all a mirage , only in this case those who see it don’t even recognize they’re thirsty. As far as I’m concerned, although the ages pass the problem remains the same.

Best,

Phis

Steven Colyer said...

Phil, I hear you and second your motions on your post reply above. I think that's why they say "with age comes wisdom" and "youth is wasted on the young." :-p

Not that we're old Phil, we still can walk the golf course and not have to take a cart, eh? But we're over 40, dangit, which means thanks to the next-to-impossible-to-prove age-prejudice thing, good luck getting a job.

But I'm pretty happy now Phil because the U.S. Dept. of Commerce just gave me a job starting April 27 for 8-9 weeks. Sure it's a temp job but I'll be taking a Supervisor's test as well, so we'll see how that goes on the theory that a foot inside the door is better than one outside. Hell, we'll all be working for the government someday at the rate things are going, and you have to start somewhere, right? :-)

Note to E-M: you have until April 27th to blow my brains out. After that I'll be a U.S. Federal Employee in which case if you mess with me or my family the F.B.I. will be called it. Take your best shot, suckers.

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