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Is there sufficient lithium within the United States to satisfy the made-in-America necessities of the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax incentive programs for new electric vehicles? The International Energy Agency projects that the world will need 1,063 kilotons of lithium in 2040. That’s 48 occasions the quantity of lithium utilized in EVs and electrical energy storage in 2020. Where will it come from? Our visitor at this time is Jack Lifton, a bodily chemist who has labored for the previous 60 years on the purification of uncommon metals for the electronics and vitality storage industries. He is the co-chairman of the Critical Minerals Institute, a world skilled group centered on battery and expertise supplies, and an advisor to One World Lithium, a lithium extraction expertise firm. One World Lithium has developed a lithium carbonation course of that Jack suggests can produce extra battery-grade materials than extra heat- and pressure-intensive approaches.
Now that we clearly see the depth of the local weather disaster, lithium — the premise for many batteries utilized in electrical automobiles — is perhaps known as essentially the most crucial mineral on the planet. China at present dominates the extraction and processing of lithium, and has locked up entry to lithium and different crucial minerals sources in components of Africa and Latin America. Jack argues that the United States must rethink its industrial technique to deal with STEM abilities and low-impact manufacturing processes to make the flip from fossil fuels to electrification, together with discovering equitable partnerships with international locations within the Global South that maintain massive reserves of lithium, cobalt, and different crucial minerals. You can study extra about Jack Lifton and the Critical Minerals Institute at criticalmineralsinstitute.com and comply with his common columns at investorintel.com.