Lithium, is not a long-term solution, says Lead and Zinc trade body chief
Even as the use of lithium battery-powered electric vehicles grows, the India Lead Zinc Development Association (ILZDA), a trade organization, believes that lithium cannot be a long-term solution for the country.
“Plenty of lead is available both as natural ore and recyclable from used batteries, whereas for lithium India has to be dependent on imports. Instead of oil imports, we will be depending on lithium for making lithium cells and lithium batteries to run our electric vehicles,” said L Pugazhenthy, Executive Director, ILZDA.
“Lithium cannot be a long-term solution because it is available in very few countries and they are going to dominate. Keeping in mind the increased prices and increase in royalty etc that’s not an appropriate solution for India and the whole world is going to face the risk of shortage as everyone is going to have electric vehicles,” Pugazhenthy told businessline on the sidelines of a seminar of Lead and Zinc Batteries – Green Recycling and Energy Storage.
“For India, an appropriate strategy would be to encourage more and more indigenously available materials like lead and see that the country is self-dependent and that’s Atmanirbhar — our own material for our own livelihood. That should be the name of the game,” Pugazhenthy said.
Lead batteries are currently the mainstay of energy storage, accounting for around 85 percent of all lead produced. The global consumption of lead is predicted to be 14 million tonnes, with India accounting for approximately 1.5 million tonnes.
Pugazhenty stated that while green recycling of lead batteries has increased in the country, there is still a long way to go because the informal sector still accounts for roughly 25-30%.
According to RP Sharma, Secretary and Director General of the Recycling and Environment Industry Association of India, the focus of innovation in battery storage capacity is on weight reduction, and lead batteries will be the future, except in the transportation industry.
Energy storage is the fastest-growing industry for lead, according to Brian Wilson, Consultant, International Lead Association.
According to commodity researcher G Chandrashekar, the openness of China is increasing metals demand. In terms of the prognosis, he stated that zinc will be a supply-driven market, whereas lead demand will rise in the medium term due to new cars and replacements.
The production of important raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, and titanium has increased in the last decade, despite increased supply risk due to concentration in a few nations, he said.
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Content Credit:THE HINDU businessline