An offshore solution to cobalt shortages via adsorption-based harvesting from seawater
Author(s)Haji, Maha N.; Slocum, Alexander H
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The predicted dominance of electric vehicles and the need for grid-scale energy storage have heightened concerns that cobalt, a key constituent of lithium-ion batteries, could become a critical limiting factor. With limited terrestrial resources and over half the global production coming from politically challenging regions increasing risk, a shortage of cobalt could be experienced by the early 2020s. Fortunately, the oceans contain about 70 times more cobalt than on land and can be harvested sustainably with passive adsorption technologies; and a symbiotic system using existing offshore structures to harvest cobalt could enhance the economic feasibility of seawater cobalt harvesting. Our study finds that retrofitting just 76 unused oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico could extract an average of 27.3% of the nation's 2017 cobalt consumption. New Offshore Opportunity for Underwater Cobalt Harvesting has the potential to reduce the cobalt supply pinch point in lithium-ion battery production.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Haji, Maha N. and Alexander H. Slocum. "An offshore solution to cobalt shortages via adsorption-based harvesting from seawater." Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (May 2019): 301-309. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd
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