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Page added on January 12, 2021

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Batteries are made of rare, declining, critical, and imported elements

Alternative Energy

Preface.  Since oil and other fossils are finite and emit carbon, the plan is to electrify society with batteries.  But doh!  Minerals used in batteries are finite too.  And dependent on fossil-fueled transportation and manufacturing from mining trucks, to smelter, to fabrication, to delivery.

Alice Friedemann  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of Transportation”, 2015, Springer, Barriers to Making Algal Biofuels, and “Crunch! Whole Grain Artisan Chips and Crackers”. Podcasts: Collapse Chronicles, Derrick Jensen, Practical Prepping, KunstlerCast 253, KunstlerCast278, Peak Prosperity , XX2 report


Batteries use many rare, declining, single-source country, and expensive metals.  They consume more energy over their life cycle, from extraction to discharging stored energy, than they deliver.  Batteries are an energy sink with negative EROI, which makes wind, solar, and other intermittent sources of electricity energy sinks as well.

Minerals used to make batteries are subject to supply chain failures (stockpiles will eventually run out).

Depletion Peaks, Including Recycling, for Battery Minerals

Peak Year

There are four main components to a battery: the casing, chemicals, electrolytes, and internal hardware.  The main minerals used are cadmium, cobalt, lead, lithium, nickel, and rare earth elements.

The U.S. has a list of 35 critical elements essential for defense and other industires

Antimony (critical). 29% of antimony in the USA is used for batteries (35% flame retardants, 16% chemicals, 12% ceramics and glass, etc).

Arsenic (critical): the grids in lead acid storage batteries are strengthened by the addition of arsenic metal

Cadmium: Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) batteries.  It’s also used in photovoltaic devices. China uses it in the lead-acid batteries used by electric bicycles. In 2005 1,312,000 pounds of cadmium were used in rechargeable batteries.

Cobalt (critical): 23,800,000 pounds of cobalt were used in rechargeable batteries (2005).

Graphite (critical).

Lead-acid batteries. These consume 86% of lead production. In just the first 8 months of 2012, 81,700,000 lead-acid automotive batteries were produced.

Lithium-ion batteries.  This article makes the case for lithium shortages coming soon “Back to Land Lines? Cell Phones May Be Dead by 2015

Manganese (critical): dry cell batteries

Nickel: 426,000,000 pounds used in rechargeable batteries (2005) with peak production in sight, this will also affect stainless steel


Rare Earth Elements (lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium ytterbium and lutetium)

Zinc: dry cell batteries


17 Comments on "Batteries are made of rare, declining, critical, and imported elements"

  1. Cloggie on Wed, 13th Jan 2021 8:44 am 

    Ah yes, Alice Friedman again, keen on “proving” that the renewable energy transition won’t work.

    If she knew what she is talking about, she would know that batteries will only play a minor role in the post-fossil fuel economy:

    Furthermore, it is possible that eventually we will mostly get rid of the energy-intensive privately-owned car, to be replaced by a much smaller fleet of corporate-exploited, autonomous driving van fleet. The Covid-19 lockdown gave a sneak preview of a largely car-free world, that doesn’t implode. Zoom and Skype can replace the Tesla.

    Hydrogen-based fuel cells could still win over batteries.

    And then are flow batteries, that function with non-depleting materials.

  2. FamousDrScanlon on Wed, 13th Jan 2021 10:17 am 

    Clog, moron of ten thousand predictions strikes again.

    How’s that US revolution you predicted, ten thousand times, coming along?

  3. FamousDrScanlon on Wed, 13th Jan 2021 10:22 am 

    The humans probably won’t need batteries where they are headed.

    Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future

    “We summarize the state of the natural world in stark form here to help clarify the gravity of the human predicament. We also outline likely future trends in biodiversity decline (Díaz et al., 2019), climate disruption (Ripple et al., 2020), and human consumption and population growth to demonstrate the near certainty that these problems will worsen over the coming decades, with negative impacts for centuries to come. Finally, we discuss the ineffectiveness of current and planned actions that are attempting to address the ominous erosion of Earth’s life-support system. Ours is not a call to surrender—we aim to provide leaders with a realistic “cold shower” of the state of the planet that is essential for planning to avoid a ghastly future.”

  4. Dredd on Wed, 13th Jan 2021 11:08 am 

    Try sea salt batteries … cheap as dirt (Seaports With Sea Level Change – 12).

  5. Biden's hairplug on Wed, 13th Jan 2021 12:09 pm 

    Talmud Turk undermines his own catastrophic sounding messages by posting stuff like this:

    “these problems will worsen over the coming decades, with negative impacts for centuries to come.”

    Apparently, we have centuries ahead of us.

    Not the brightest bulb in the Christmas tree, Talmud Turk is.

  6. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 13th Jan 2021 4:09 pm 

    Traitor to democracy was just impeached. Again

  7. makati1 on Wed, 13th Jan 2021 4:12 pm 

    Any prediction past 2021 is nothing but guesswork, probably selling something.

    If there was one accurate prediction about what happened last year, I never saw it.

    Nor will any “predictions” about our current year be 100% accurate, just ballpark.

    There may not even be any humans alive in 2050. We shall see. Pass the popcorn.

  8. Duncan Idaho on Wed, 13th Jan 2021 5:29 pm 

    Pro-Trump Attorney Lin Wood Not of ‘Sufficient Character’ to Practice Law, Decides Judge

    Really? lol

  9. FamousDrScanlon on Wed, 13th Jan 2021 6:39 pm 

    The big Orange Peach, The Presidents of the United States of America, got im-peached. Again

    Moving to the White House gonna get a couple of impeachments

    Moving to the White House gonna get a couple of impeachments

  10. Biden's hairplug on Thu, 14th Jan 2021 3:21 am 

    US politics didn’t impeach Trump, merely initiated an impeachment trial, which likely is going to fail:

    How childish and vindictive must you be to start an impeachment trial, during the last week of a presidency. More oil on the fire and lowering the bar towards civil war.

    Not that the rest of the world, minus the UK and Australia, would mind seeing the US go under, especially continental Europe (France, Germany, Russia), that would love to piss on its grave, with WW1 and WW2 in mind.

    The US has become a joke, but could still end in tragedy:

    In the 20th century, “Bloodlands” referred to Europe, all by US deep state design and their Churchill water carrier.

    In the 21st century, it could be North-America.

    Whatever, the US empire is thoroughly over. The only interesting question is who gets what from the heritage. Gonna be a scramble between mostly Europe and China and to a lesser extent Turkey and Iran, fighting over the burning remains.

  11. Outcast_Searcher on Thu, 14th Jan 2021 4:37 am 

    Of course, the doomer author ignores economics. As has already been happening for rare earth metals generally, when the price goes up, the effort to find things goes up, and viola, generally a lot more gets found.

    Re articles and a good 60 Minutes piece, the ocean floor, such as the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan has a LOT of rare earth metals, unknown until recently, and there are plenty of serious ventures afoot to mine those in the coming decade, several funded by entities with deep pockets.

    And of course, pretending science makes no progress is STUPID, given the history. And of course, pretending substitutes aren’t found (as some comments imply or state already) is STUPID.

    The doomer patrol never learns, they just bray a lot. Works fine for jackasses, not so much for humans.

    There are PLENTY of real world big issues for humanity — why not focus on some that actually look grim? (And have a shred of credibility). Like say AGW, given how much humans are ignoring that far too much? Including so many denying it can be real despite all the scientific evidence and decades of warming data to boot?

  12. DT on Thu, 14th Jan 2021 8:06 am 

    When humans decide to do anything industrial, at scale, the consequences are mostly overlooked until hindsight kicks in.

  13. FamousDrScanlon on Thu, 14th Jan 2021 12:04 pm 

    Bidet hairslug, first off there is no “we”, there is only the humans. Humans includes all those people you hate because of their different skin tones & cultures. Are they your brothers & sisters clog? Part of your ‘we’?

    Secondly, if you’ve have assured yourself ‘we’ have centuries based on one scientific article, that you obviously only read the introduction of, then you are unlearned in such matters.

    Cherry picked one sentence & spun it…as per usual.

    “..with negative impacts for centuries to come.”

    Those negative impacts will happen even if humans go extinct tomorrow. What they are not saying is that we guarantee humans will be around to suffer them.

    According to new evidence, we are not in the midst of the 6th mass extinction, but rather the 7th.

    Discovery of a new mass extinction

    “It’s not often a new mass extinction is identified; after all, such events were so devastating they really stand out in the fossil record. In a new paper, published today in Science Advances, an international team has identified a major extinction of life 233 million years ago that triggered the dinosaur takeover of the world. The crisis has been called the Carnian Pluvial Episode.”

    “The cause was most likely massive volcanic eruptions in the Wrangellia Province of western Canada, where huge volumes of volcanic basalt was poured out and forms much of the western coast of North America.

    “The eruptions peaked in the Carnian,” says Jacopo Dal Corso. “I was studying the geochemical signature of the eruptions a few years ago and identified some massive effects on the atmosphere worldwide. The eruptions were so huge, they pumped vast amounts of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, and there were spikes of global warming”.”

    Wow, yet another greenhouse gas triggered hothouse extinction. Are we picking up on the pattern?

    The ‘Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future’ article has 17 PhD authors & not one of them apparently knew of the discovery of a new mass extinction research & evidence, but I did – who ya gonna believe eh?

    BTW, among the authors are Paul & Anne Ehrlich, authors ‘The Population Bomb’ (1968)

    Clog, I had know idea you were such a fan of Paul Ehrlich, a doomy Jewish biologist.

    Clog, are you a total Ehrlich fanboy or is there one or more things you think he might be wrong about?

    Paul Ehrlich: ‘Collapse of civilization is a near certainty within decades’- July 9, 2020

    “Fifty years after the publication of his controversial book The Population Bomb, biologist Paul Ehrlich warns overpopulation and overconsumption are driving us over the edge

    A shattering collapse of civilisation is a “near certainty” in the next few decades due to humanity’s continuing destruction of the natural world that sustains all life on Earth, according to biologist Prof Paul Ehrlich.”

    “The world’s optimum population is less than two billion people – 5.6 billion fewer than on the planet today, he argues, and there is an increasing toxification of the entire planet by synthetic chemicals that may be more dangerous to people and wildlife than climate change.”

    The biology scientists are indeed the experts on the web of life, but among them their is a wide range of opinions. They do not differ on the damage the rapacious apes are doing, only when & what the final consequences will be.

    Here’s a conservation biologist who thinks homo sapiens have less than a decade.

    Too soon. I’m wagering there will be no humans around to usher in the next century.

  14. Richard on Fri, 15th Jan 2021 11:20 am 

    Well 2032 batteries are going anywhere any time soon

  15. supremacist muzzies jerk on Fri, 15th Jan 2021 1:21 pm 

    comparatively speaking one could say 911 was false flag so (((supertards))) can feed at the trough of the eutards. they like socialistic concentration of power and wealth so that’s where one go to feed.

    convid-19 is the reverse because the WHO and foreign powers pushed fear to feed on Americans and our obedience to the grub. We’re very alike to the Germans in 1930 than we think. This is terrifying.

    please change ur undies to prevent spread of convid-19

    olde to dr kary mullis, nobel prize winner inventor of PCR test

    supremacist muzzies bag day coming up feb1

    a whole year was lost due to convid-19. time flies

  16. FamousDrScanlon on Fri, 15th Jan 2021 5:00 pm 

    Oh hell ya, supremacist muzzies all that concentrated power are all socialists or libtards. Tell yourself.

    A Guide to the Billionaires Bankrolling the GOP Candidates

    These mega-donors may determine which Republicans get a real shot at the White House.

    April 24, 2015

    “In 2012, the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson gave $15 million to a super PAC backing the former House speaker, while Foster Friess, a deep-pocketed investor, almost single-handedly propped up Santorum’s bid long enough for him to give Mitt Romney his most serious challenge for the GOP nomination.”

    The Ultra-Rich Are Ultra-Conservative

    Billionaires typically stay quiet about their politics. But don’t mistake their silence for moderation — the uber-rich tend to be extremely politically active and extremely conservative.

    “In the 2012 elections, the Koch brothers shelled out about as much as the entire labor movement. Between 2001 and the end of 2012, 92 percent of the country’s hundred richest billionaires (combined wealth: $2.2 trillion) contributed to a political cause. “A remarkably high portion (36 percent),” political scientist Matthew Lacombe reports in his new coauthored book Billionaires and Stealth Politics, “bundled contributions from others and/or hosted political fund-raisers.”

    Yet they’re also eerily quiet. Over the ten-year period that Lacombe and his coauthors (Benjamin Page and Jason Seawright) look at, 96 percent of Forbes’s one hundred richest Americans (as of 2013) said nothing in public about Social Security. That’s likely because most of them want to gut the popular program. As the trio of political scientists write, “many or most billionaires appear to favor, and quietly work for, policies that are opposed by large majorities of Americans” — cutting Social Security, reducing taxes on the rich, and freezing or even scrapping the minimum wage.”

    Yabut the power & wealth concentration for conservatives is different because they care about us little people-N-stuff & they only make those ginormous political contributions & fund entire PR firms cuz they love deplorables. It’s not to gain more power & wealth for themselves – they love us.

    You’re ass wipe to them.

  17. FamousDrScanlon on Fri, 15th Jan 2021 6:48 pm 

    Are America’s Richest Families Republicans or Democrats?

    “Of the 50 richest families, 28 mainly donate to Republicans and only seven contribute mainly to Democrats. Not all families stay on the same side of the political spectrum — 15 support candidates from both parties.”

    Political Affiliations of America’s 50 Richest Families

    Republicans 57%
    Democrat 14%
    Both 30%

    Here are the political affiliations of America’s 50 richest families, ranked according to wealth:

    1. Walton – Republican

    2. Koch – Republican

    3. Mars – Republican

    4. Cargill-MacMillan – Republican

    5. Johnson (Fidelity) – Republican

    6. Hearst – Republican

    7. Cox – Democrat

    8. Pritzker – Both

    9. Johnson (S.C. Johnson) – Republican

    10. Duncan – Republican…….

    What a bunch of fucking emotionally unhinged dupes MAGA-tards are.

    US libtards are phony hypocritical cunts, but MAGA-tards are delusional beyond the pale. They have almost no idea how power works in the US let alone the world.

    Lemme clue you in. How power works has never changed & never will.

    Power is pragmatic. Power is all power cares about. Power is it’s own ideology. Power has no loyalty. It don’t care about you or me – we’re means to an end – workers, voters, cannon fodder…… disposable fuck toys.

    15 years ago the greatest American social critic ever told you exactly what was happening & where things would end up & all in less than 5 mins.

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