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Environmental and geostrategic effects of raw materials supply supporting the energy transition and electric mobility: a focus on the “lithium triangle” in South America

Lo Russo Stefano Mondani Michele Giglio Elena
Articolo Immagine
Rivista:
GEAM
Anno:
2021
Numero:
162
Fascicolo:
GEAM N. 162/2021
DOI:
10.19199/2021.162.1121-9041.025

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Electric vehicles (EVs) are breaking through, new incentives and new targets come to light to get the numbers that allow to reduce greenhouse gases over the next 30 years. On the current market, the automotive sector mainly make use of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) as energy storage systems. The paper examines the distribution of raw materials useful for the realization of LIBs. The availability of the world reserves of these elements is analyzed by presenting an index that highlights the risk of exhaustion of a resource based on economic trends, future objectives and recycling capabilities state-of-the-art. The focus is then on the South American “Lithium Triangle” where the metal is extracted through brine mining and where the environmental and social problems as the geostrategic aspects have been analyzed.


Keywords: Li-ion batteries, lithium, resource, environment, geostrategy.