Lithium in everyday life

Lithium in everyday life

Lithium has become a ubiquitous mineral in our lives, both at home and at work. In fact, you may not know it, but the device on which you are reading this article contains lithium. As an essential component in the batteries of electrical objects, it’s found in many of the electrical items we use daily. Chances are, one of the first things you pick up in the morning contains lithium.

Our devices

Lithium is one of the main components of most batteries today. These batteries can be compact and light because they don’t need to be as powerful thanks to their short charging cycle. The fact that they can be recharged quickly and regularly makes them perfect for modern electronics like tablets, laptops, smartphones, headphones, and smart watches. Whether you have one or all of the above, they’re almost certainly a mainstay in your personal or professional life.

They’re battery-powered, and therefore cordless—a feature we couldn’t do without. These days, it’s hard to imagine having nothing but a landline phone or a desktop computer. Our nomadic and interconnected lifestyles have made mobile devices necessary, essential even.

Our tools

Beyond smart devices, many other household objects contain lithium! Basically, any electrical object that runs on a battery potentially contains lithium.

This also applies to the items we use for our hobbies. DIY and gardening tools such as drills, brush cutters, and cordless chainsaws all come with rechargeable lithium batteries. The same goes for cameras and children’s entertainment that runs on lithium or rechargeable batteries, such as video game consoles and wireless controllers.

Batteries are just about everywhere because they fit our lifestyles: they’re mobile, efficient, and long-lasting. And they’re affordable, too!

Our transportation

Electric cars have become very popular in recent years. They are powered with batteries made with lithium and other minerals, including cobalt and nickel. Each electric car battery contains about 3 kg of lithium.

Using an electric vehicle reduces your environmental impact. Over its entire life cycle, an electric vehicle emits two to three times less CO2* than its combustion (gas-powered) counterpart. As far as the recycling of lithium batteries is concerned, there are several ways to give them a new life. Some processes allow up to 95%* of their components to be recovered and purified so they can be reused by battery manufacturers. This closes the loop of the battery life cycle.

Public transportation with electric vehicles is a more accessible—and sometimes better adapted—solution we’re seeing in and around large cities. Municipalities such as Nice, France, are taking the first step towards the electrification of transportation by gradually bringing electric vehicles into their bus fleets. The main advantage of this type of change is that it eliminates greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas already saturated with pollution.

In Quebec, the government launched a school transportation electrification program in 2021, with the goal of electrifying 65%* of the province’s school buses by 2030. This energy transition will have a positive impact on our region!

Municipalities are leading by example! Changing their buses is a major investment, but one that is well worth it in the long run.
More affordable and fun to use than ever, electric bikes, scooters, and even hoverboards have been roaming our streets for a few years now. These modes of transportation are better suited to summer weather than the cold of winter and are very efficient for short trips. They are fun and have a limited environmental impact.

The mining industry is not left out, either: a first phase of electric vehicle testing is underway, with heavy-duty vehicles operating in a local open-pit mine. The results of this test phase will be decisive in achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Turning to electric transportation is a big step towards the energy transition! Whether they’re in our electric vehicles, our gardening and DIY tools, or our smart devices, lithium batteries limit CO2 emissions compared to devices with combustion engines and consume less energy than wired devices that are constantly plugged in.

Not only do they help limit our environmental footprint, but lithium batteries also give us more freedom and comfort than ever. This technology ticks all the boxes!

Sources :

ADEME

Recyclage Lithion

Propulsion Québec

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