lithium Current Affairs - 2020

Indian Astrophysicists: Lithium in Interstellar space & Red Giants have Connection

The Researchers in the Indian Institute of Astrophysics frame a connection between Lithium in interstellar space and lithium in red giants. The Lithium rich Helium burning stars also have connections with red giant stars.

Highlights

A team of scientists at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics have discovered a number of Lithium rich red giants. The study says that the present amount of Lithium found in the Universe is four times that of the primordial value. Primordial means existing from the beginning time. This, in fact is the primary reason for scientists to identify Lithium rich sources. Finding such sources will help in validating Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

Bing Bang Nucleosynthesis

The Big Bang Nucleosynthesis is the production of nuclei other than that of the lightest isotope of hydrogen (1H – Hydrogen 1) during an early phase of the Universe. This includes helium-4, helium-3, lithium-7.

After Hydrogen and Helium, it is lithium that is present in abundance in the universe.

14,100 tonnes of the rare metal, Lithium Reserves found in India

The researchers at the India’s Atomic Energy Commission have found Lithium Reserves of 14,100 tonnes in Mandya. Mandya is 100 km away from Bengaluru, Karnataka. Being a very rare metal Lithium is mainly used in manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles.

Highlights

The reserves found is very little as compared to the world’s leading producers of Lithium. Of the major producers Chile produces 8.6 million tonnes, Australia produces 2.8 million tonnes and 1.7 million tonnes in Argentina.

India’s Scenario

Currently, India imports 1.2 billion USD worth lithium batteries (2019). This has increased significantly. In 2017, India imported 384 million USD worth lithium batteries.

Issues

Though India has very little reserves of Lithium and are spread in different places, they can be of significant use. But these reserves are not yet mapped. These reserves can be of good help to promote the clean-energy wave in India. GoI is on the path of implementing 1.4 billion USD plan to make India a manufacturing hub of electric vehicles.