GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: India and neighbourhood relations.
A number of Chinese companies have already begun “on-site inspections” of possible projects to tap lithium deposits in Afghanistan, having received the green light to do so from the Taliban regime.
Lithium is one of many resources in Afghanistan present in large deposits but as yet untapped, largely because of years of political instability and the lack of infrastructure.
The security situation, not to mention a dire economic crisis including food shortages, are among the many challenges.
It is a soft, silvery-white metal. Under standard conditions, it is the lightest metal and the lightest solid element.
It is highly reactive and flammable, and must be stored in mineral oil. It is an alkali metal and a rare metal.
Key Characteristics and Properties:
- It has the highest specific heat capacity of any solid element.
- Lithium’s single balance electron allows it to be a good conductor of electricity.
- It is flammable and can even explode when exposed to air and water.
- Lithium is a key element for new technologies and finds its use in ceramics, glass, telecommunication and aerospace industries.
- The well-known uses of Lithium are in Lithium ion batteries, lubricating grease, high energy additive to rocket propellants, optical modulators for mobile phones and as convertor to tritium used as a raw material for thermonuclear reactions i.e. fusion.
The thermonuclear application makes Lithium as “Prescribed substance” under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 which permits AMD for exploration of Lithium in various geological domains of the country.
- Under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, “Prescribed Substance” means any substance including any mineral which the Central Government may, by notification, prescribe, being a substance which in its opinion is or may be used for the production or use of atomic energy or research into matters connected therewith and includes uranium, plutonium, thorium, beryllium, deuterium or any of their respective derivatives or compounds or any other materials containing any of the aforesaid substances.
- About Lithium.
- Lithium reserves in India.
- Lithium reserves across the world.
Discuss the advantages of lithium ion batteries.
Sources: the Hindu.