Uses of Lithium: Lithium, also known as “white gold,” is a special mineral that has become increasingly valuable due to its use in the manufacturing of electronic devices and means of transport. While Latin America is a leading mining region for lithium, none of the three largest lithium mines in the world are located there. Instead, the majority of the world’s lithium reserves are concentrated in what is known as the Lithium Triangle, located between Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia.
Lithium is a silvery-white metal in its pure state, but due to its high reactivity, it is typically found in other compounds. It is commonly mined through natural brine harvesting, which is considered a simpler method than mining from deposits (veins).
Most commonly , lithium is known for its use in batteries and cells due to its electrochemical potential, making it ideal for the anode of electric batteries. As the demand for electric cars continues to rise, so does the consumption of lithium.
However, lithium has a range of other uses. It is added to the cryolite bath in the aluminum industry to increase productivity, reduce energy consumption, and decrease fluorine emissions into the environment. Lithium-based lubricating greases are also used for transportation, while it is utilized in the production of synthetic rubber used in long-lasting tires and air conditioning systems. Lithium oxide is even used as an additive in the glass and ceramics industry to improve the flow properties and reduce the coefficient of thermal expansion of finished products.
Moreover, lithium has a medicinal use in the treatment of depressive syndromes. It has been used since the mid-19th century to prevent and cure diseases like rheumatism and gout, while today, it is used to treat cartilage damage caused by osteoarthritis or sports injuries.
Q: What is the Lithium Triangle?
A: The Lithium Triangle is a region located between Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia, where 85% of the world’s lithium reserves are concentrated.
Q: What is the most common use of lithium?
A: The most common use of lithium is in batteries and cells, especially for electric vehicles.
Q: What is lithium’s use in the aluminum industry?
A: Lithium carbonate is added to the cryolite bath in the aluminum industry to increase productivity, reduce energy consumption, and decrease fluorine emissions into the environment.
Q: What is lithium’s medicinal use?
A: Lithium is used to treat depressive syndromes, as well as cartilage damage caused by osteoarthritis or sports injuries.
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