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Is lithium either a precious mineral or metal?

percybpercyb Posts: 3,295 ✭✭✭

I put this lithium battery in a flip just for the heck of it. They sell for a few dollars. Lithium isn’t so rare I gather tho it gets hype on occasion.

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  • ADGADG Posts: 422 ✭✭✭

    Lithium is an element and a metal, usually extracted from brine or various ores. Usually present in low concentration. Current prices are around $42/kilogram, so certainly not in the range of gold / silver / platinum.

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  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I believe the lithium is inside the battery capsule... It is not the external metallic package. Cheers, RickO

  • tincuptincup Posts: 4,721 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Those actually sell? I had no idea, did not think there was any value in them; I thought they were considered a form of 'hazardous waste".

    A very brief brief look online: "The positive electrode is typically made from a chemical compound called lithium-cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) or, in newer batteries, from lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4). The negative electrode is generally made from carbon (graphite) and the electrolyte varies from one type of battery to another"

    ----- kj
  • tincuptincup Posts: 4,721 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Actual diagram of 2032 button cell:

    ----- kj
  • tincuptincup Posts: 4,721 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Additionally, "Lithium is geologically rare because it is unstable atomically due to it having the lowest binding energies per nucleon than any other stable nuclide."

    I wouldn't call it a 'precious metal' like silver or gold, but it certainly is in demand in today's world.

    ----- kj
  • Lithium is considered a critical mineral. "A critical mineral is a metallic or non-metallic element that has two characteristics: It is essential for the functioning of our modern technologies, economies or national security and. There is a risk that its supply chains could be disrupted." ----From ga.gov.au.
    Largest use is in rechargeable batteries

  • percybpercyb Posts: 3,295 ✭✭✭

    @tincup said:

    Thanks for the diagram!

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  • TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,757 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Those recycling it will fare better than those mining it, in my opinion. But precious is as precious does.
    We need it for powering our cordless things. Whoever "flips" it should read fine print : better be careful shipping. It falls under a different class with respect to our postal system regulations.

    I think it's a hot commodity.

  • jmski52jmski52 Posts: 22,263 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The last time I looked, lithium is considered a metal on the periodic table.

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  • element159element159 Posts: 493 ✭✭✭

    I don't think that anything that needs to be kept covered in grease to avoid corroding to dust can count as a 'precious metal'.

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