This Facebook post contrasts the picture of a large open-air lithium mine with one of a small oil sands extraction site, suggesting that mining for the lithium used in some electric car batteries harms the environment more than extracting fossil fuels. It’s sticky, thick, blocky, and solid. On top of that, not all the chemicals found in fracking fluid are known, and the federal government has yet to require that companies disclose what they are. It’s separated from the brine using electrolysis. As a result, unsafe practices can cause catastrophic damage to water sources the world over. The Southwestern U.S. has become too hot for farmed animals, and the heat is killing them. Contact us here. Tell me more about how your electric car is better for the environment.” (RELATED: Did Ocasio-Cortez Tweet About Electric Cars During Hurricane Dorian?). Apparently Lithium is mined this way in Australia though where we have large deposits of lithium rich minerals: http://www.abc.net.au/site-archive/rural/wa/content/2011/10/s3345559.htm. Some countries have been trying to pass legislation that does away with this process, but even as environmentalists struggle to gain ground against their corporate and political adversaries, the novel threat of lithium mining has shifted a bit of focus away from the issue. In 2015, we used about 19 million tons of copper. An image shared on Facebook allegedly depicts the differences in environmental impact between an open-air mine where lithium is extracted for electric car batteries and an oil sands extraction site. The remaining mix will take another 12 and 18 months before it’s filtered enough for them to extract the lithium carbonate. It’s not exactly that nothing lives there, but …, “In 2003, a team of researchers published a report in the journal Science in which they duplicated the tests used by the Viking 1 and Viking 2 Mars landers to detect life, and were unable to detect any signs in Atacama Desert soil in the region of Yungay.”. Don't be stupid. By Mark Sumner. On the other hand, the world produces about 650,000 tons of lithium each year. But dammit, sometimes someone is just so wrong on the internet, that you must get out the mustard. Deepwater Horizon? So you know what they did? That top image is, in fact, a mine. It appears as though neither fracking nor lithium mining is as closely regulated as it should be. That brine is then left to evaporate for months, which creates a chemical concoction containing manganese, potassium, borax, and salts, which is filtered and placed into another evaporation pool. Lithium brine exploration infographic presented by: Dajin Resources. That said, the point with your lithium mine is that once dug up it becomes a renewable energy storage mechanism for years while the oil is just burnt to release 500 million year old stored sunlight. Arizona was one of several states apparently won by Joe Biden in 2020 that were targeted by election-related conspiracy theories. Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Because what’s in those sands isn’t nice, fluid oil. Although the post was first shared in 2016, it continues to circulate. A flipped version of the photo featured in the meme was used often enough in reference to lithium mining that it is one of the first results for “lithium mine” on Google Images. http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id034900.html. No sprays of sulfuric acid. EDITOR’S WARNING: It is important to read the article below. The pressure then allows the gas to flow out of the head of the well and can be carried out vertically or horizontally to the rock layer, thus creating new pathways to release gas or extending existing channels. Copyright AFP 2017-2020. Because of the amount of energy consumption and materials required, lithium production from mining is a much more costly process than brine extraction, even though these minerals have a higher lithium content than the saltwater. Snopes and the Snopes.com logo are registered service marks of Snopes.com. Lately (or more specifically, perpetually off and on for the last few years), this set of images has been circulating. Extraction of lithium and oil sands bitumen on a large scale are both detrimental to the environment. The original and largest Tesla community on Reddit! The bottom photograph was taken in Canada, but it shows a type of oil sands drilling site that isn’t really comparable to a copper mine. Of the five minerals, spodumene is the most commonly used for lithium production. And all it takes is about 1,500 cubic feet of natural gas to make the steam that drives out a single barrel of oil. Located in Chile, the Escondida mine produced more than 1.2 million tons of copper last year, according to Mining Journal. They call lithum "white gold" for a reason. The process is named for what happens when the rock is fractured apart. The biggest environmental danger posed by lithium mining is the amount of water the process uses up: an estimated 500,000 gallons of water per ton of lithium extracted. lmao that's the best part: these people who keep pushing the myth 'batteries are worse for environment than oil' and "Li ion batteries are dirty !!" Trendception: A master class in the use of spurious data to make bogus and self-referential political talking points unsupported by empirical evidence. The meme at the top is being debunked as nonsense, not supported. In Australia, Greenbushes, the world’s largest hard rock lithium mine, currently produces about 80 kilotons (one thousand metric tons) of lithium carbonate equivalent annually. CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused news & analysis website in the US & the world, focusing primarily on electric cars, solar energy, wind energy, & energy storage. But an image search for "oil sands mining" does not produce anything that looks like the bottom half of that picture. Shell's Twitter poll about emission reduction did not go over well. This is our contributor account for those special people. It can also cause small earthquakes; you know, because it's not bad enough already. Why did they tell you that? Less than the equivalent of a drop of oil in an Olympic sized swimming pool. It’s both desolate and lovely. Chemicals are used but the dangers those pose are presumably nothing compared to the damage fracking is capable of inflicting. Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, or ambassador — or a patron on Patreon. Now, it’s the internet, people. The whole burning of oil after you extract it thing". Let the pictures speak for themselves. Almost none of these are in areas where severe ecological destruction are likely to result. Last year, for instance, MGX Minerals developed a method for extracting over 83 percent of the lithium in oilfield brine. AFP has not obtained any rights from the authors or copyright owners of this third party content and shall incur no liability in this regard. “This is a mine where lithium is extracted for electric car batteries,” reads the caption. Oil is mined once, then burned, and then you don't have the oil anymore; you instead have carbon dioxide. Bryant told AFP the meme was far from an apples-to-apples comparison, arguing that “in the context of the post, a full accounting would also consider the greenhouse gas emissions associated with electric vehicle production and operation vs the GHG emissions associated with oil production and consumption.”.
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