Lithium is getting harder and harder to find, but silver could be the solution. The element lithium belongs to the alkali metals and has the abbreviation Li. Many know the metal by now because it is an essential component in battery technology, especially for electric vehicles. In 2020, about 70% of the lithium mined was used for the production of batteries. Experts predict that with further pressure on EV production, 1/3 of the world’s lithium could be used by the end of the decade.
As lithium becomes harder and harder to find, the oceans could soon be exploited because seawater contains lithium. According to the USGS, there are 200 billion tons of lithium in the oceans. But the lithium must be extracted from the seawater. Silver could soon be used for this purpose. More precisely, silver manganese oxide electrodes. Scientists from South Korea have found a promising electrolysis process in which lithium can be extracted from seawater using silver manganese oxide electrodes.
More and more applications are found for silver which is essential for future technologies. This means that the demand for silver will continue to rise. The only question that remains is: Where is all the silver supposed to come from?