Elements: Lithium: Less is More

August 07, 2020

Lithium was created during the Big Bang at about 13.8 Ga. Lithium is concentrated in Earth's upper continental crust and in 124 mineral species, the greatest mineralogical diversity being found in pegmatites. Lithium occurs naturally in two isotopes, 6Li and 7Li, which are readily fractionated, thus becoming sensitive to geological and environmental processes. Closed-basin brines (58%) and pegmatites plus related granites (26%) constitute the main sources of exploitable lithium worldwide. Life as we know it at the start of the 21st century would not be possible without lithium as it is used in a myriad of applications ranging from lithium-ion batteries to medicine.

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