Lithium

Professional Paper 1802- K
By:
Edited by: Klaus J. SchulzJohn H. DeYoung, Jr.Robert R. Seal IIand Dwight C. Bradley

Links

Abstract

Lithium, the lightest of all metals, is used in air treatment, batteries, ceramics, glass, metallurgy, pharmaceuticals, and polymers. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are particularly important in efforts to reduce global warming because they make it possible to power cars and trucks from renewable sources of energy (for example, hydroelectric, solar, or wind) instead of by burning fossil fuels. Today, lithium is extracted from brines that are pumped from beneath arid sedimentary basins and extracted from granitic pegmatite ores. The leading producer of lithium from brine is Chile, and the leading producer of lithium from pegmatites is Australia. Other potential sources of lithium include clays, geothermal brines, oilfield brines, and zeolites. Worldwide resources of lithium are estimated to be more than 39 million metric tons, which is enough to meet projected demand to the year 2100. The United States is not a major producer at present but has significant lithium resources.

Suggested Citation

Bradley, D.C., Stillings, L.L., Jaskula, B.W., Munk, LeeAnn, and McCauley, A.D., 2017, Lithium, chap. K of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. K1–K21, https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1802K.

ISSN: 2330-7102 (online)

ISSN: 1044-9612 (print)

Table of Contents

  • Abstract 
  • Introduction
  • Geology 
  • Resources and Production 
  • Exploration for New Deposits 
  • Environmental Considerations 
  • Problems and Future Research
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Lithium
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1802
Chapter K
ISBN 978-1-4113-3991-0
DOI 10.3133/pp1802K
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Geology Minerals
Description viii, 21 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N