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8 Countries that Produce The Most Lithium in the World

Which are the countries that produce the most lithium in the world

A chemical element, lithium is the lightest metal out there while also being the least dense element, but only under standard conditions. Following a trait exhibited by most, if not all, metals, lithium is highly reactive as well as being extremely flammable. Because it is so inherently reactive, it is hard, if not impossible, to find lithium occurring naturally. Hence, it is found only in compounds.

Lithium has a variety of uses, which can explain its high demand globally. It has the lowest melting points among all the metals that we know of. However, as an alkali metal, it has the highest melting point among all alkali metals. It is widely used in many industries such as ceramics, heat-resistant glass production, aluminium production, steel production, lithium grease lubricants, lithium ion batteries, lithium batteries and flux additives for iron among other numerous uses.

Countries that Produce The Most Lithium in the World

Lithium is another element which is present in every single organism. However, it is not integral to our biological operations and hence, we can operate effectively without lithium. On the other hand, it is possible that lithium performs some functions which are not essential though there is no confirmed stance on this belief.

The lithium ion has been used over the years as a mood stabilizer and hence, has been integral in the treatment of bipolar patients.

Lithium was discovered around 200 years ago, in 1817 by Johan August Arfwedson, and has proven to be a very useful metal since. The US Geological Survey estimated that 13 million tonnes of lithium were present worldwide in 2008, though at best, this can be considered an educated guess since it is hard to determine the reserves of lithium on a global scale. The production of lithium increased globally after the end of World War II. The process to produce lithium is electrolysis, where lithium chloride and potassium chloride are mixed at a temperature of 450 degrees Celcius.

There are large deposits of lithium located in South America, while the United States is also a leading producer. There have been different opinions regarding the production and usage of lithium. Some reports state that lithium production will not be sufficient to meet its demand while other major concerns include the fact that production of lithium will devastate the environment significantly, to a point where there is little chance that the environmental and ecological damage will be able to be reversed.

Others are for the production of lithium, especially for its use in lithium powered batteries for electric powered cars. For more information, you can simply visit this link. A study supporting them conducted by Ford Motor Company and the University of Michigan decided that there was sufficient lithium to cover demand till 2100.

In order to determine the 8 countries that produce the most lithium, we checked out the countries which had the most metric tonnes of lithium produced in 2014. We used the report prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey. Here is the list, starting from number 8:

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