lithium carbide is a lithium-carbon compound with a crystalline structure. It is used to produce electrically conductive materials, and as an electrolyte in lithium-ion batteries. It may be produced from brines or hard-rock deposits, but a few companies are also looking to mine clay-based lithium deposits.
Batteries: Getting More From Lithium Carbonate
Battery manufacturers are increasingly turning to lithium carbonate to help meet growing demand for electric vehicles. As Andrew Miller of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence explains, not all lithium carbonate is created equal.
One important difference is that the lithium in carbonate is not as readily soluble in water as the lithium in hydroxide. This means it requires special processing to become a soluble form.
The most common method of producing lithium carbonate is by electrolysis. This involves using a high voltage to charge an electrode to produce lithium ions which are then able to react with a cathode material such as graphite.
However, the process is not 100% efficient as lithium ions do not easily dissolve in the acidic liquid that surrounds it. This can lead to a lot of waste.
Therefore, a more practical solution is to use an inert electrolyte such as lithium tetrafluoroborate. This is not only more environmentally friendly, but it also allows the cathode to be pressed into the desired shape.
This is a simple approach that can produce better battery performance. Moreover, it can be done at a much lower cost than the more expensive lithium ion batteries that are currently available.