One of the most important billionaires in the world is planning to develop a new startup and actively develop lithium mines in Lake Salton – the “Dead Sea” of the US state of California. Due to the fact that lithium is now needed to manufacture batteries, aerospace materials and for use in nuclear energy, a new company owned by an American entrepreneur for Gates can become an unprecedented source of income for the rest of the planet's population become a very reliable lithium resource, reports the portal popularmechanics.com.
Lithium is a light and soft silver-white metal.
Bill Gates started funding startups
Hardly any of the richest and best-known people in the world – Bill Gates – left Microsoft's office and immediately decided to start new projects. The billionaire in particular liked a small startup to develop lithium in one of the salt lakes in Southern California. The company's founder, David Snydaker, was quite surprised to receive $ 20 million from an energy venture company with investors including Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates.
In the near future, lithium may no longer be used to manufacture batteries as scientists develop new types of power sources.
Though business people used to come up with the idea of starting lithium projects on Lake Salton, entrepreneurs did not dare to approach the lake's geothermal zone due to a series of unsuccessful attempts to mine alkali metals in the region. However, it was Sneidaker who managed to develop a new technology that can work with salt water of different concentrations and their mixtures.
When lithium is dissolved in salt water sources around the world, it is often obtained "the old-fashioned way" – similar to the way sea salt is produced. In the huge evaporating ponds that formed after leaving the sea region, a solid substance remains that entrepreneurs dig up. In this case, although this technique remains effective hundreds of years after it was invented, production rates leave something to be desired.
The salty “sea” evaporates quickly for natural reasons, and lithium salt continues to flow to Salton, and its amount only increases every year. The salinity at this place is so high that there is practically no life in the lake, which indirectly makes it an ideal platform for lithium mining or any other invasive technical project.
In addition to salt, there are several mud volcanoes in the area closest to the lake, which are one of the richest potential geothermal sources in the world. When dissolved in an overheated mixture, local lithium can have unique properties, which prompted David Sneidaker to develop the field under the leadership of the well-known Australian company Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR).
Snaidaker technology consists of a modular lithium breakdown in which hydrochloric acid gradually turns lithium chloride out of natural lithium carbonate in saline. The author of the development claims that his type of mining can be much faster and more efficient than traditional evaporation methods. The company's ambitious plans by 2023 are reported to include the production of more than 17,000 tons of lithium, which can help not only to develop the local economy but also to increase the technological level of companies around the world.
We previously wrote that a new generation of lithium-oxygen batteries can hold the battery many times longer than its modern counterparts, which can lead to the development of smartphones with constant charging and electric vehicles with infrequent charging requirements. You can read about this and other future prospects in this article.