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The Lithium future—resources, recycling, and the environment


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The demand for Lithium-ion batteries as a major power source in portable electronic devices and vehicles is rapidly increasing. I use cumulative data of vehicle, mobile phone, laptop, and digital camera production to show that demand will overshoot the available global Lithium resources before 2025. Even if 100% of all Lithium-ion batteries were recycled today, recycling could not prevent this resource depletion in time. As the increasing Lithium scarcity will increase the price, it will be feasible to mine diluted resources with a strong environmental impact. I highlight these impacts in Lithium-rich Bolivia, the potential new “Saudi Arabia of Lithium.” Lithium extraction is likely to cause substantial water pollution, and—through impacts on native diversity—facilitate human health impacts from cyanobacteria that are normally kept at bay by native flamingos. The strongly intertwined Lithium extraction impacts on the environment, biodiversity, and human health from evaporative ponds and ore mining need to be taken into consideration when we discuss resource protection and opportunities from Lithium recycling. Overall, sensible Lithium recycling strategies can provide effective resource and environmental protection right now but urgently need to be supplemented by alternative technologies in the near-future.
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The Lithium future—resources, recycling, and the environment
Thomas Cherico Wanger1,2
1Environment Institute, University of Adelaide, Australia
2Agroecology, University of G ¨
ottingen, Germany
Biodiversity; Bolivia; environmental impact;
human health; Lithium; recycling; resource use.
Thomas Cherico Wanger, Environment Institute,
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences,
Mawson Bld., Room G39, University of Adelaide,
SA 5005, Australia. Tel: +61 (0) 8 8303 5254;
fax: +61 (0) 8 8303 4347. E-mail:
16 November 2010
9 February 2011
Devid Pellow
doi: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00166.x
The demand for Lithium-ion batteries as a major power source in portable
electronic devices and vehicles is rapidly increasing. I use cumulative data of
vehicle, mobile phone, laptop, and digital camera production to show that de-
mand will overshoot the available global Lithium resources before 2025. Even
if 100% of all Lithium-ion batteries were recycled today, recycling could not
prevent this resource depletion in time. As the increasing Lithium scarcity
will increase the price, it will be feasible to mine diluted resources with a
strong environmental impact. I highlight these impacts in Lithium-rich Bolivia,
the potential new “Saudi Arabia of Lithium.” Lithium extraction is likely to
cause substantial water pollution, and—through impacts on native diversity—
facilitate human health impacts from cyanobacteria that are normally kept at
bay by native flamingos. The strongly intertwined Lithium extraction impacts
on the environment, biodiversity, and human health from evaporative ponds
and ore mining need to be taken into consideration when we discuss resource
protection and opportunities from Lithium recycling. Overall, sensible Lithium
recycling strategies can provide effective resource and environmental protec-
tion right now but urgently need to be supplemented by alternative technolo-
gies in the near-future.
If you spend some time in public transport, caf´
es, or shop-
ping centres, you will have noticed the omnipresent use
of mobile phones and laptops. Until now, the increas-
ing popularity of affordable electronics has led to an es-
timated total production of 12.7 billion mobile phones
(Ramirez-Salgado & Dominguez-Aguilar 2009), 94.4 mil-
lion laptop computers, and 768.9 million digital cam-
eras (UNdata 2010). Once the status symbol of a small
elite, many people are now striving for the latest tech-
nology of tomorrow. But while technology advances fast,
all portable electronic devices still depend on energy—
nowadays, Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are the
preferred energy source because of their high-energy
density (compactness), low sensitivity to temperature
variation (ruggedness), and higher resistance to “charging
failure” (no memory-effect). While considered an envi-
ronmentally viable alternative, the demand for Lithium-
containing batteries already now requires 23% of the
global Lithium production (USGS 2010).
The advent of electronic vehicles (i.e., powered from
Lithium-ion batteries) in recent times, has driven global
economic investment projected to reach US$ 30–40 bil-
lion by 2020 (Lache et al. 2008). Depending on the source
considered, one of these vehicle batteries is using 3–20 kg
of Lithium so that the annual Lithium demand for ve-
hicles in the US alone was estimated to be 55,000 tons
by 2050 (Gaines & Nelson 2009). In 2009, the US gov-
ernment made a multibillion dollar investment to open
up a whole new industry to satisfy future demands in
vehicle Lithium-ion batteries (USDE 2009). Thus, there
is a rapidly growing demand and investment in Lithium
for portable electronic device and vehicle batteries, which
has ultimately to be satisfied with the global resources of
25.5 million tonnes. Accessing these resources will be-
come more difficult with devastating impacts on the en-
vironment, but efforts may still not be enough to satisfy
202 Conservation Letters 4(2011) 202–206 Copyright and Photocopying: c
2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
T.C. Wanger The Lithium future
Figure 1 Global Lithium demand for Lithium-ion batteries and available
global resources. The cumulative numbers of globally produced digital
cameras, mobile phones, laptops, and electric cars were used to calcu-
late the future demand of Lithium (Lithium content in the batteries of
electronic devices was calculated based on the formula by the US De-
partment of Transportation; USDT 2008) and battery specifications on all
models from the eight leading manufacturers for digital cameras, mo-
bile phones, and laptops. For the units of produced digital cameras, mo-
bile phones, laptops, cars, and the percentage of electric vehicles see
Hacker et al. (2009), Gaines and Nelson (2009), Ramirez-Salgado and
Dominguez-Aguilar (2009), UNdata (2010), and White (2006). Note that
the y-axis is on log scale to make the contributions of all electrical garment
categories visible.
future Lithium demands. Although Lithium plays such an
important role, it is surprising that the economic, envi-
ronmental, and health impacts of future Lithium scarcity
have not fully been looked at.
Unlimited Lithium resources?
While the advantages of Lithium-ion batteries and the fu-
ture economic profits are undeniable, Lithium may be-
come a limited resource. A conservative estimate of how
long Lithium resources will last when we only consider
electric vehicles (assume a maximum use of 20 kg of
Lithium per vehicle battery, global Lithium resources of
25.5 million tonnes, a moderate vehicle production
of 60 million per year leading to a total production
capacity of 1.2 billion electric vehicles) suggest that ve-
hicle production will succumb before 2031 (i.e., within
21 years)! However, considering the cumulative esti-
mated car production until 2030 in addition to produc-
tion estimates of laptops, digital cameras, and mobile
phones, we are likely to exhaust Lithium reserves (i.e.,
minable resources; USGS 2010) even before 2020 (Fig. 1).
The total global Lithium resources are likely to be de-
pleted before 2025—in less than 15 years. This increasing
scarcity in Lithium will be paralleled by a price increase.
As a result, Lithium recycling as well as difficult to access
resource mining strategies will become feasible.
Can Lithium recycling make a difference?
Current recycling efforts of Lithium-ion batteries focus
mainly on the economically interesting cathode materi-
als cobalt and nickel, but largely neglect Manganese and
Lithium even where sophisticated recycling systems are
in place (Dewulf et al. 2010). In Germany, for example,
the consumer returns used batteries in provided boxes
at public places. A recycling system, the GRS founda-
tion supported by major global battery manufacturers,
will then recycle the batteries as required by German law.
However, Lithium is not considered for recycling (GRS
2010) because it is still cheap enough to dump old bat-
teries and to mine the virgin material. Given the likely
future increase in Lithium prices, it will pay to start using
simple methods such as hydrometallurgical separation for
Lithium recycling now (Ferreira et al. 2009). In addition,
recycling of nickel and cobalt from these batteries can
Conservation Letters 4(2011) 202–206 Copyright and Photocopying: c
2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 203
The Lithium future T.C. Wanger
Figure 2 Effect of Lithium recycling on global Lithium demand. Shown are three scenarios assuming that 0, 40, and 100% of all Lithium required is recycled
(40% was chosen because of current recycling efforts for other cathode materials like Nickel or Cobalt from Lithium-ion batteries; Dewulf et al. 2010). Due
to a Lithium-ion battery lifetime, all scenarios assume a 10 years time lag (e.g., batteries produced in 2010 will be available for recycling only in 2020).
save 51% of the natural resources required (Dewulf et al.
2010). Thus, immediate recycling efforts would have eco-
nomic and environmental benefits.
However, recycling alone—even if implemented on the
spot—may not do the job. Assuming an average battery
lifetime of 10 years and that 40 or 100% of all pro-
duced Lithium-ion batteries are recycled, future Lithium
consumption may be reduced by 10.2 or 25.5%, re-
spectively, by 2030 (Fig. 2). While not even the advent
100% recycling will prevent Lithium demand to over-
shoot the globally available resources before 2025, we
are far from having a recycling system at this capac-
ity. This suggests that recycling alone will not assure us
Lithium battery powered mobile phones, laptops, cam-
eras, and cars. Even with enormous recycling efforts, fu-
ture Lithium scarcity will facilitate mining of lower grade
deposits. The penalty of excessive exploitation in resource
(Lithium-)-rich countries will be to the detriment of local
people, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.
Lithium extraction and the
environmental impact
Globally, the most important Lithium-production sites
are in South America (Chile and Argentina). In large salt
lakes, Lithium carbonate is produced through evapora-
tion and washing with sodium carbonate in large scale
polyvinyl chloride (PVC)—lined shallow ponds (Garrett
2004). To a lesser extend, spodumene ores as the main
Lithium carrier are mined, for example, in Western Aus-
tralia. In contrast to ore mining, environmental impacts
of evaporative Lithium extraction are little understood
but must be carefully evaluated.
A good example to illustrate side effects of Lithium ex-
traction is the Bolivian salt pan Salar de Uyuni, harboring
the world’s second largest but untouched Lithium reserve
(5.4 million tonnes; USGS 2008). The salt pan is occa-
sionally flooded by the Rio Grand river of Uyuni that pro-
vides freshwater for agriculture in the region (Messerli
et al. 1997). In addition, the river and the Salar create
an important but fragile habitat for the native biodiver-
sity. Due to its natural beauty, the lake is the most visited
tourist attraction in Bolivia and is considered to be one of
the major income sources for the local people (Aguilar-
Fernandez 2009).
Lithium processing in this region may cause changes
in freshwater availability and water pollution with severe
consequences for human health and native biodiversity.
PVC barriers for the evaporation basins may leak chem-
ical substances such as softeners into the environment.
An evaluation of PVC drinking water pipes revealed
204 Conservation Letters 4(2011) 202–206 Copyright and Photocopying: c
2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
T.C. Wanger The Lithium future
that various compounds pose severe reproductive and
functional health concerns to humans (Stern 2006).
Chemical leakage may be worse for material involved
in Lithium extraction and not related to human con-
sumption. It has also been shown that aquatic diversity
in the Neotropics is strongly affected by water pollution
(Barletta et al. 2010), landscape modifications, and in-
troduced sediments (Donohue & Molinos 2009). Nega-
tive effects on native biodiversity may have far-reaching
consequences, also reflecting back onto local people.
For example, the experimental reduction of flamin-
gos feeding on cyanobacteria in Salar de Uyuni (Bauld
1981) changed ecosystem structure by increasing micro-
bial biomass (Hurlbert & Chang 1983). While toxicity of
cyanobacteria in hypersaline habitats is little understood,
a survey across saltwater habitats in the US revealed that
85% of all species produced detectable levels of micro-
cystins (Hudnell 2008). Microcystin, a toxin produced
by various cyanobacteriae can have fatal consequences
for humans and biodiversity (Chen et al. 2009; Hamil-
ton 2009). As such, Lithium extraction will only bene-
fit the poorest South American country (as suggested by
Aguilar-Fernandez 2009), if impacts on the environment,
biodiversity, and human health are taken into consid-
eration. Moreover, it has to be assured that exploitative
strategies, as seen during the past silver extraction in Bo-
livia, are not repeated.
Apart from evaporitic sequences, Lithium is also mined
from pegmatite ores, for example, in Zimbabwe and
Canada. Processing of spodumene, the main Lithium
carrier in magmatic rocks is cost and energy consum-
ing because the Lithium-incorporating silicates must be
separated and then mostly transformed into carbonates
for further processing. For ore mining and processing
in general, environmental impacts such as physical land
rearrangements (which can interfere with ground wa-
ter carrying soil layers) and waste products (tail water
from the mining sides often contain high concentrations
of toxic compounds) are well documented and require
proper management actions (Bridge 2004). Shocking ex-
amples come from eastern Africa, where mismanaged
gold mining has lead to exorbitant mercury concentra-
tions in rivers threatening aquatic diversity and down-
stream communities. There, mining workers are also suf-
fering major health impacts from inhalation of siliceous
dust and increasing malaria risk (Ogola et al. 2002). In
collaboration with realistic conservation managers, it is
the responsibility of mining companies to apply sustain-
able mining practice including suitable (i.e., low impact)
extraction technology.
The environmental impact of evaporation ponds may
be lower than that of Lithium or gold ore mining. Nev-
ertheless, it is crucial to include environmental aspects in
the discussion of how to sustainably manage Lithium re-
sources with recycling and additional technologies.
The Lithium future
Overall, we will likely face a Lithium shortage with
economic and environmental consequences. Like in the
US, governments should make an effort to allocate
funds for Lithium recycling projects (Hamilton 2009;
USDE 2009). Immediate implementation of Lithium re-
cycling will benefit investors, natural resources, and lo-
cal people alike because resource exploitation costs and
environmental impacts can be reduced. Given that re-
cycling cannot prevent resource scarcity, Lithium tech-
nology must be supplemented by alternative energy
concepts. In addition, effective recycling is only neces-
sary, because consumption of Lithium demanding gad-
gets is ever growing and, hence, has to be sustainable
There are already various alternative energy con-
cepts. Metal-air batteries for instance seem promising
but cannot yet serve a large energy market (insufficient
power supply, short battery lifetime, inadequate recharg-
ing technology, and spacious design; MacKay 2008). Bio-
electric battery concepts do not require natural resources
as they generate power, for example, from glucose
(Palmore 2004), but power supply is still very limited
(GRS 2010). For electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel-cell
powered cars with hydrogen produced from clean energy
sources seems a promising solution. However, this tech-
nology has to become affordable for the public market,
so that a new large-scale transportation industry can de-
velop around this field (Zhang & Cooke 2009).
For economic growth, products (including electronic
garments) are made for fast breakdown while advertise-
ments suggest the consumer to always strive for the lat-
est product; that is, products are designed for the dump
( As such, Lithium re-
cycling is urgently needed but the recycling process it-
self must be sustainable. In particular in poor parts of
the world, where work labor is cheap and environ-
mental standards are low, the recycling process must
be strictly monitored. Ultimately, producers must find a
better balance between economic growth and increased
product longevity while the use of toxic material is min-
imized. Major policy actions should stringently regulate
take-back actions and the subsequent recycling activities.
In the meantime, everybody can contribute to resource
protection beyond Lithium by wise consumer behavior:
choose green products and think twice about how often
you need to replace your car, mobile phone, laptop, and
digital camera!
Conservation Letters 4(2011) 202–206 Copyright and Photocopying: c
2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 205
The Lithium future T.C. Wanger
I thank B.W. Brook, N. Sodhi, T. Tscharntke, J. Schilling,
I. Motzke, L. Traill, B. Scheffers, Q. Lan, and K. Dar-
ras for comments on the manuscript. Funding was pro-
vided through an Endeavour International Postgraduate
Research Scholarship and a University of Adelaide schol-
arship, while preparing the manuscript.
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... The use of evaporation ponds in lithium processing has raised concerns about the interaction and pollution of watercourses [59]. For instance, audit reports of the Salar de Atacama and other reports of the Uyuni Salar area (Bolivia) have indicated water contamination, increased sediment loads, landscape modifications with disturbance of the native biodiversity, and changes in the ecosystem structure, which might have negative effects on the health of local people [26,59,63]. ...
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... Para Garret (2004), Messerli et. al.. (1997) e Stern (2006 apud Wanger (2011), os locais com a maior produção de lítio no mundo estão na América do Sul, em grandes lagos salgados, onde é produzido o carbonato de lítio por evaporação. Segundo os autores, para a produção de uma tonelada de carbonato de lítio, são necessários 400m3 de água salgada evaporada, 27,5m3 de água doce (com base na média informada pelos autores, de 5 a 50m3), e são produzidos 115,041 kg de resíduos. ...
Uma das maiores adversidades do nosso tempo são as mudanças climáticas e o setor de transportes responde por cerca de 25% das emissões globais de gases do efeito estufa (GEE). O veículo elétrico é considerado como menos poluente durante seu uso e, para fins de estudo, focou-se na ACV da sua bateria, cuja importância é refletida por representar cerca de 1/3 do valor monetário do veículo e ter alta eficiência de conversão de energia elétrica em potência em comparação aos motores a combustão. No entanto, para reduzir a quantidade de recursos naturais utilizados e os resíduos gerados, é necessário conhecer os aspectos e impactos ambientais em cada etapa do ciclo de vida do produto. O objetivo deste artigo é identificar e caracterizar as etapas do ciclo de vida das baterias utilizadas nos veículos elétricos, mapeando os impactos ambientais inerentes a cada etapa, através da realização de uma Avaliação do Ciclo de Vida (ACV) do produto, com a coleta de dados secundários. Para uma unidade da bateria de estudo, a etapa de extração e produção de matérias-primas/recursos naturais é a que apresentou o maior impacto nas categorias relativas ao potencial de aquecimento global, geração de resíduos sólidos, potencial de acidificação e potencial de eutrofização. Na etapa de uso, foi visto o maior consumo de energia elétrica e, na etapa de reciclagem, maior consumo de água doce e produção de resíduos sólidos. Não é possível dizer que os veículos elétricos são uma alternativa sustentável sem compará-los com o ACV dos veículos que usam combustíveis fósseis.
Currently, Lithium is the lightest metal known in nature, which is widely applied in most walks of life. However, the present storage of lithium resources in the world is far from meeting the consumption market surge demand for lithium resources. Liquid lithium resources such as Salt Lake brine and seawater brine will become the primary source and inevitable choice for lithium extraction in the future due to a large amount of lithium, and its recovery requires a simple and effective process. This study synthesized TEG4MEC, a pseudo-crown ether monomer with a ring unit, to achieve effective Lithium-ion (Li⁺) recognition through specific interaction with Li⁺. Then, the TEG4MEC monomer was grafted onto the surface of cross-linked chitosan microspheres (CCS) by surface initiation polymerization. A series of static and dynamic adsorption studies showed that the pH value of the solution had a significant effect on Li⁺ adsorption. For CCS-TEG4MEC microspheres, the best adsorption effect was observed at pH = 7.0. The maximum adsorption capacity of Li⁺ on CCS-TEG4MEC microspheres obtained by Langmuir isotherm fitting is 156.16 mg g⁻¹. In addition, CCS-TEG4MEC microspheres also showed effective regeneration performance and highly stable adsorption capacity, which could be reused.
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The transition to plug‐in hybrid vehicles and possibly pure battery electric vehicles will depend on the successful development of lithium‐ion batteries. But, in addition to issues that affect performance and safety, there could be issues associated with materials. Many cathode materials are possible, with trade‐offs among cost, safety, and performance. Oxides of cobalt, nickel, manganese, and aluminum in various combinations could be used, as could iron phosphates. The anode material of choice has been graphite, but titanates may be used in the future. Similarly, different materials could be used for other parts of the cell. We consider four likely battery chemistries and estimate the quantities of all of these materials that could be required if vehicles with large batteries made significant market inroads, and we compare these quantities to world production and resources to identify possible constraints. We identify principal producing countries to identify potential dependencies on unstable regions or cartel behavior by key producers. We also estimate the quantities of the materials that could be recovered by recycling to alleviate virgin material supply restrictions and associated price increases.
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The arid Andes between 18 degrees and 30 degrees South are located in the transition zone between the tropical and westerly circulation belts. Precipitation rates are lower than 150-200 mm/yr. Results from paleoclimatic and isotope hydrologic research suggest that modern recharge of the water resources in this area is very limited, or even below the level of detection. The groundwater resources of today were formed when precipitation rates were greater than at present by a factor of 2.5. Thus, water is a resource that is renewed extremely slowly, or is even non-renewable. The distribution of mountain protected areas along the 7,500 km Andean Cordillera and the extent of the arid diagonal, the zone of extremely low precipitation that crosses from the western flank in southern Ecuador and Peru to the eastern flank in Argentina, are compared. This indicates the very low density of protected areas within the arid diagonal and the potential for endangerment of diversity in this highly sensitive, dynamic, and harsh environment. Scientific knowledge about the age and origin of water resources and maps of water protection zones are the basic elements required for decision making. This type of information should help to resolve the growing conflict between the users of water, especially between the expanding mining industry, conservationists, and local communities concerned with the integrity of the fragile mountain ecosystems. Establishment of a series of new protected areas would be a modest but efficient measure for preserving the unique mountain environment and guaranteeing water resources for the benefit of both human development and nature conservation.
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The study of gold sites in the Migori Gold Belt, Kenya, revealed that the concentrations of heavy metals, mainly Hg, Pb and As are above acceptable levels. Tailings at the panning sites recorded values of 6.5–510 mg kg^−1 Pb, 0.06–76.0 mg kg^−1 As and 0.46–1920 mg kg^−1 Hg. Stream sediments had values of 3.0–11075 mg kg^−1 Pb, 0.014–1.87 mg kg^−1 As and 0.28–348 mg kg^−1 Hg. The highest metal contamination was recorded in sediments from the Macalder stream (11075 mg kg^−1 Pb), Nairobi mine tailings (76.0 mg kg^−1 As) and Mickey tailings (1920 mg kg^−1 Hg). Mercury has a long residence time in the environment and this makes its emissions from artisan mining a threat to health. Inhaling large amounts of siliceous dust, careless handling of mercury during gold panning and Au/Hg amalgam processing, existence of water logged pits and trenches; and large number of miners sharing poor quality air in the mines are the major causes of health hazards among miners. The amount of mercury used by miners for gold amalgamation during peak mining periods varies from 150 to 200 kg per month. Out of this, about 40% are lost during panning and 60% lost during heating Au/Hg amalgam. The use of pressure burners to weaken the reef is a deadly mining procedure as hot particles of Pb, As and other sulphide minerals burn the body. Burns become septic. This, apparently, leads to death within 2–3 years. On-site training of miners on safe mining practices met with enthusiasm and acceptance. The use of dust masks, air filters and heavy chemical gloves during mining and mineral processing were readily accepted. Miners were thus advised to purchase such protective gear, and to continue using them for the sake of their health. The miners' workshop, which was held at the end of the project is likely to bear fruit. The Migori District Commissioner and other Government officials, including medical officers attended this workshop. As a result of this, the Government is seriously considering setting up a clinic at Masara, which is one of the mining centres in the district. This would improve the health of the mining community.
We have an addiction to fossil fuels, and it’s not sustainable. The developed world gets 80% of its energy from fossil fuels; Britain, 90%. And this is unsustainable for three reasons. First, easily-accessible fossil fuels will at some point run out, so we’ll eventually have to get our energy from someplace else. Second, burning fossil fuels is having a measurable and very-probably dangerous effect on the climate. Avoiding dangerous climate change motivates an immediate change from our current use of fossil fuels. Third, even if we don’t care about climate change, a drastic reduction in Britain’s fossil fuel consumption would seem a wise move if we care about security of supply: continued rapid use of the North Sea Photo by Terry Cavner. oil and gas reserves will otherwise soon force fossil-addicted Britain to depend on imports from untrustworthy foreigners. (I hope you can hear my tongue in my cheek.) How can we get off our fossil fuel addiction? There’s no shortage of advice on how to “make a difference,” but the public is confused, uncertain whether these schemes are fixes or figleaves. People are rightly suspicious when companies tell us that buying their “green” product means we’ve “done our bit.” They are equally uneasy about national energy strategy. Are “decentralization” and “combined heat and power,” green enough, for example? The government would have us think so. But would these technologies really discharge Britain’s duties regarding climate change? Are windfarms “merely a gesture to prove our leaders’ environmental credentials”? Is nuclear power essential? We need a plan that adds up. The good news is that such plans can be made. The bad news is that implementing them will not be easy.
Cyanobacteria are single-celled organisms that live in fresh, brackish, and marine water. They use sunlight to make their own food. In warm, nutrient-rich environments, microscopic cyanobacteria can grow quickly, creating blooms that spread across the water's surface and may become visible. Because of the color, texture, and location of these blooms, the common name for cyanobacteria is blue-green algae. However, cyanobacteria are related more closely to bacteria than to algae. Cyanobacteria are found worldwide, from Brazil to China, Australia to the United States. In warmer climates, these organisms can grow year-round. Scientists have called cyanobacteria the origin of plants, and have credited cyanobacteria with providing nitrogen fertilizer for rice and beans. But blooms of cyanobacteria are not always helpful. When these blooms become harmful to the environment, animals, and humans, scientists call them cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyanoHABs). Freshwater CyanoHABs can use up the oxygen and block the sunlight that other organisms need to live. They also can produce powerful toxins that affect the brain and liver of animals and humans. Because of concerns about CyanoHABs, which can grow in drinking water and recreational water, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added cyanobacteria to its Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List. This list identifies organisms and toxins that EPA considers to be priorities for investigation. Reports of poisonings associated with CyanoHABs date back to the late 1800s. Anecdotal evidence and data from laboratory animal research suggest that cyanobacterial toxins can cause a range of adverse human health effects, yet few studies have explored the links between CyanoHABs and human health. Humans can be exposed to cyanobacterial toxins by drinking water that contains the toxins, swimming in water that contains high concentrations of cyanobacterial cells, or breathing air that contains cyanobacterial cells or toxins (while watering a lawn with contaminated water, for example). Health effects associated with exposure to high concentrations of cyanobacterial toxins include: stomach and intestinal illness; trouble breathing; allergic responses; skin irritation; liver damage; and neurotoxic reactions, such as tingling fingers and toes. Scientists are exploring the human health effects associated with long-term exposure to low levels of cyanobacterial toxins. Some studies have suggested that such exposure could be associated with chronic illnesses, such as liver cancer and digestive-system cancer. This monograph contains the proceedings of the International Symposium on Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms held in Research Triangle Park, NC, September 6-10, 2005. The symposium was held to help meet the mandates of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act, as reauthorized and expanded in December 2004. The monograph will be presented to Congress by an interagency task force. The monograph includes: 1) A synopsis which proposes a National Research Plan for Cyanobacteria and their Toxins; 2) Six workgroup reports that identify and prioritize research needs; 3) Twenty-five invited speaker papers that describe the state of the science; 4) Forty poster abstracts that describe novel research. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. All rights reserved.
This is the electronic version of the book which is also available in hardback and paperback.
A hydrometallurgical route based on leaching-crystallization steps for the separation of metals Al, Co, Cu and Li from spent Li-ion batteries was evaluated in this paper. Once dismantled for the removal of both plastic and steel cases, the anode (containing mainly Cu) of such batteries was manually separated from the cathode (which contains Al, Co and Li) for the recovery of Cu. The metal content of both anode and cathode was assessed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and atomic absorption analytical methods. The cathode was firstly leached with NaOH for the selective removal of Al, followed by leaching with H2SO4+H2O2 for the dissolution of the remaining Co and Li. The operating variables concentration of NaOH and concentration of H2O2 were found significant for the metal dissolution conditions investigated at basic and acid leaching operations, respectively. On the other hand, the variables temperature and concentration of H2SO4 showed minor effects at acid leaching step. Reaction schemes were proposed to describe basic and acid leaching operations. The recovery of Co from the acid liquor was carried out by crystallization. This hydrometallurgical route was found to be simple and adequate to separate metals for recycling purposes.
This review critically surveys an extensive literature on mining, devel-opment, and environment. It identifies a significant broadening over time in the scope of the environment question as it relates to mining, from concerns about landscape aesthetics and pollution to ecosystem health, sustainable development, and indige-nous rights. A typology compares and contrasts four distinctive approaches to this question: (a) technology and management-centered accounts, defining the issue in terms of environmental performance; (b) public policy studies on the design of effec-tive institutions for capturing benefits and allocating costs of resource development; (c) structural political economy, highlighting themes of external control, resource rights, and environmental justice; and (d) cultural studies, which illustrate how mining exemplifies many of society's anxieties about the social and environmental effects of industrialization and globalization. Each approach is examined in detail.
Microbial mats, both fossil and living, have been of interest to micropalaeontologists, microbiologists and sedimentologists for at least the last 50 years (see Walter, 1976). Living mats from a variety of freshwater and marine environments, including hot springs, have been studied for reasons related to the biology and activities of component microorganisms and to their geological significance (e.g. Castenholz 1969; Gebelein 1969; Eggleston & Dean 1976; Brock 1978; Bauld, Chambers & Skyring 1979). Wetzel (1964) has pointed out that limnological investigations of saline lakes are disproportionately large in relation to their relative frequency of occurrence. Such has not been the case, however, for studies of microbial mats in saline lakes. Limnology developed primarily through examination of open-water planktonic systems and limnologists, as a group, still display a mystifying propensity for studies of the planktonic, faunal and chemical components of saline lake ecosystems.