by:CTECHi     2020-01-23
Updated by Dan McDougall: 04:52, April 5, 2009 Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia --
The famous but vast cactus desert, rain lagoon and 10 billion tons of salt in the Andes range cover nearly 5,000 square miles of darkness, and in a twinkling of an eye, the snow cap in the distance has changed from dazzling white to nothing.
Starting from the east, the night runs against us on the desolate plateau, the temperature drops to minus zero, leaving in the huge cold shadow the air blowing clean emptiness of the largest salt marsh on Earth
Above our heads, the sky becomes hazy, followed by a dark blue hue that shows the clearest view of the Galaxy anywhere on Earth.
In July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to walk on the moon, one of the first sights they encountered in space was the wilderness where we stood.
As the Earth changes, they are attracted to large white areas on the South American continent, and they immediately think it is a glacier, but it is actually uyunisala in southern Bolivia, a bit-
Cactus, rain lagoon and 10 billion tons of salt cover the known but vast desert of nearly 5,000 square miles.
Since then, the Salt Marsh has been one of the most remote and inaccessible plateaus in the world, almost forgotten corners;
This is a destination for confused travelers traveling from the Bolivian capital La Paz to the Chilean border.
This is a unique, surreal landscape
An empty white plain you can see.
During the rainy season, when the water lying on the salt table strongly reflects the blue, there is a dramatic illusion.
A Bolivian family works in a salt mine, but the landscape is threatened.
Energy economists in London, New York and the Middle East have predicted that the salt field, which is unlikely to be blown down, could become the next Saudi Arabia in the next 20 years.
Like the Persian Gulf before the age of 20, Sal de Uyuni, or more specifically, a large amount of lithium underground in Northern Ireland --
The answer to the 21 st century transportation question may be the size salt table.
A local Aymara Indian woman abandoned the hand-held handle in front of an old-fashioned Mercedes flat-panel truck, urging her family to leave the warm comfort of the taxi.
She raised her ankle.
She wore a long lace dress and put her heavy boots on the salty land under her feet.
The engine is dead.
She broke down from the second time with other Aboriginal women, salt minersdown vehicle.
In their beautifully balanced bowler hats, their children snuggle up on their backs in brightly colored woven shawls, and when they stand behind the truck, they look like an overworn scrum.
When they were under pressure, the drunken patriarch of the family sat in the driver\'s seat.
He chews the dried meat of the camel happily, laughing and watching the car crash into life.
Everyone cheered.
They don\'t have to sleep in the cold tonight.
Inkahuasa Island, an oasis on the salt plain, the truck left us alone in the center of the salt --
There is only a quiet and bright night sky.
No one lives in the center of the apartment.
First, there is no vegetation here.
Salt can poison any water on the surface.
There are no signs of industry and development on the plateau
There were only rows of brown mud rooms, and their moldy rooms were filled with sunlit, reclusive Indian families --
The skin is dark and lives here for generations.
But on the edge of the salt plain, a factory in the government of Bolivia is slowly taking shape.
This is a small mine.
The scale of ambition to extract the precious salt water from the subcutaneous bubbles of the salt we inhabit.
When pumping water from the ground for the first time, the salt water looks like dirty mud.
But in the desert sun, the water will slowly evaporate, leaving a yellow mineral bath, easily mistaken for a thick olive oil: lithium, the lightest metal found on Earth, and the hidden power behind our modern technological life.
Lithium may not sound familiar, but demand for lithium has peaked in the international market.
Today, the third element on the periodic table is the power supply to most mobile phones, all ipod\'s, BlackBerry\'s and handheld computers.
The Mobira Senator was launched by Nokia in 1982. his phone consists of a small phone connected to a brick. like nickel-
Based on the battery pack with a big handle on the top-
This is a key feature because the whole thing weighs 22 lbs.
Today, a typical phone weighs a hundred times as much as that number.
A lithium mine in the Atacama Desert, contaminated water, blue and chlorine, this reduction in Chile is mainly achieved through the emergence of lithium
Ion charging battery
It is lighter than other batteries and has a longer charging time.
Between 2003 and 2007, lithium carbonate consumption in the battery industry doubled, and lithium carbonate is the most common ingredient in lithiumbased products.
Today\'s electric car is driven by nickel.
Battery, but the performance of the car is limited.
However, lithium will allow the next generation of electric vehicles to go further.
S. auto industry holds its breath waiting for the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in
Hybrid cars are expected to debut in 2010.
This car will use lithium.
1 next to the ion battery. 4-
Gasoline Engine
Mercedes plans to launch a hybrid version of S-
Later this year, it will also depend on lithium.
Ion technology with excellent mileage.
Tesla Motor Company in San Carlos, California has delivered a sports car, which is a fullelectric two-
Sports car.
Same rechargeable Lithium
Ion battery, which helps make superslim mobile-
The possible telephone revolution in the past decade will now power the electrified car.
Because the car battery needs 100 times more lithium carbonate than the laptop, the green battery
Mary Ann Wright of Johnson Control said the car revolution could make lithium one of the most strategic commodities on EarthLithium t, Lithium-
Ion battery manufacturers
But the fuel currently being mined is far from enough for 0. 9 billion cars in the world.
According to William tahill, research director at Meridian International research, a technology consultancy, \"only 60 million plugs are produced
In a hybrid car of one year, it contains a small amount of lithium.
420,000 tons of lithium carbonate for lithium ion batteries-
Or six times the annual global output.
But actually, you want a decent one.
As a result, you are more likely to have to increase global production by 10 times.
This excludes the need for lithium for portable electronics.
\"Lithium may be a new favorite of Western green lobby groups, but its mining requires high environmental costs (
Inkawasa Island in uyunisal, Bolivia)
The sudden unmet need has prompted people to compete for new sources of the third element.
Now mining companies are exploring the most remote corners of the world, including the Wilderness in northern Tibet, where China has discovered new reserves and the remote salt fields of South America.
Chile is currently the world\'s largest supplier of the element, with an estimated reserve of 3 million tons.
However, this pales in comparison to Bolivia\'s potential lithium.
The U. S. Geological Survey claims at least five.
Salar De Uyuni can extract 4 million tons of lithium, while another report says the production of lithium is as high as 9 million tons.
If electric cars are going to be Volkswagen,
The products on the market, the lithium under my feet will have to be mined.
But Western companies eager to secure these reserves face huge obstacles.
Getting lithium under a white shell can cause irreparable damage to this landscape.
In uyunisal in particular, lithium is highly diluted on the plains, so very extensive mining operations must be deployed in large areas of the area.
This process also puts incredible pressure on the water supply.
For local residents, life can easily begin to reflect this scene from last year\'s James Bond film, Quantum of comfort, in which, the water was stolen by the bad guys in the movie and the villagers were forced to join the group to buy their shares.
The film is by no means eccentric, as the local South American population found that they had to buy water after the big mining companies drained the land.
The U. S. Geological Survey claims at least four.
Salar De Uyuni can extract 5 million tons of lithium, but another report says up to 9 million tons, and the more pressing issue facing potential lithium explorers is Bolivia\'s sharp-
Western President Evo Morales
The blue gray smoke of tear gas rises on the double dome of the Cathedral of La Paz, and a group of protesters hide behind the statue of Bolivian hero Pedro dominguo Murillo.
Police are trying to stop the rally from getting out of control.
The crowd consists mainly of coca farmers and shepherds.
\"Freedom of Bolivia, si!
Colonia Yanqui, no!
They sing when they wave the rainbow
The flag of the Indian nation.
At our feet, I noticed the charred remains of the American flag.
This is the Indian revolution in Bolivia.
They hate America and the West more than ever.
This sentiment has risen to the highest level of the government of Bolivia.
At the La Paz headquarters of Comibol, the national agency that oversees mining projects, Che Guevara\'s posters occupy a monotonous entrance.
\"Let me make this clear and let everyone hear it.
\"The pattern of previous imperialism exploiting our natural resources will never be repeated in Bolivia,\" said Sol Villegas, head of the Comibol department responsible for lithium mining.
\"Maybe in the future, it is possible for foreigners to be accepted as minority partners or, better yet, as our customers.
This is our ideal.
We will provide lithium to them without middlemen.
Vellegas, a close friend of President Morales, confirmed that Comibol had invested only $6 million, investing in a village near Rio Grande on the edge of Uyuni Salar, where it hopes to start Bolivia\'s first industry-
Lithium is mined on a large scale.
\"But this will be done according to our own schedule,\" Villegas stressed . \".
At present, freelance miners are trying to break down the surface salt and sell it to past trucks for a few dollars, international automakers and mining companies have provided billions of dollars worth of foreign investment to the government of Bolivia to develop Salar De Uyuni into lithium lifeline;
All recent practices have been rejected.
More than once, Morales said that the salt plain does not belong to the world, but to the people of Bolivia.
The new constitution, adopted by Morales in December, supports this claim.
A provision would allow ethnic groups to control natural resources in their territory, strengthen their ability to obtain concessions from authorities and private companies, and even block mining projects.
However, this award is too high for any one to stop international efforts.
In recent months,
Profile representative of companies including Mitsubishi and Sumitomo Corporation of Japan and a group led by French industrialist Vincent borora were sent to La Paz.
Oji Baba, an executive at Mitsubishi base metals, said the award was clearly in Bolivia.
If we want to be a force in the next wave of cars and batteries, we have to be here.
But Mitsubishi\'s work is over.
During the 2006 days of 100 Evo Morales\'s administration, he personally led the army into his country\'s largest nature-
Gas fields operated by Brazil-
National Petroleum Corporation of Brazil.
Wearing the safety helmet of the oil worker, he read out a copy of nine
The Bolivian state has announced its control over the country\'s entire oil and gas industry.
In a live broadcast on national television, Morales said the looting was over.
When Morales came to power, lithium appeared to be under strict control as well.
Ironically, when the world seeks a solution to help it get rid of its dependence on oil in the Middle East, it finds itself facing another political minefield.
Politics is not the only stumbling block.
Lithium may be a new favorite of Western green lobby groups, but it is costly to exploit.
However, others believe that we should accept that the destruction of this land is a small price for many benefits.
Electric cars are not only good for the atmosphere, but also for Bolivia.
To date, international automakers and mining companies have provided billions of dollars worth of foreign investment to the government of Bolivia for the development of Salar De Uyuni into lithium lifeline;
RebuffedJuan Carlos Zuleta, an economist at La Paz, said that we are one of the poorest countries on Earth --
Expected rate.
This is not a difficult time. headed.
Without development, our people will suffer.
Getting bogged down in principles and politics doesn\'t bring food to people.
To find out what is at stake, I have traveled through the Atacama Desert in Chile, the largest source of lithium outside Bolivia.
On dry hills in northern Chile, the damage caused by lithium mining is obvious.
As you approach the moment of the country\'s largest lithium mine, the white landscape gives way to a seemingly endless cultivated land.
Rising from the plain is a huge mountain range of abandoned bright white salt.
The broken brown land of the site is broken in your hands.
There is no sign of animal life anywhere.
These scarce water is poisoned due to the chemicals leaking from the mine.
The desert has been cut off from huge rivers and large areas of land, each with heavily polluted water.
The blue glow of chlorine makes the water look amazing, but these sparkling pools are highly toxic.
Used to dilute the chlorine of potentially carcinogenic lithium and magnesium compounds, which are usually present in the water level around the lithium deposits.
Recently, the Chilean delegation visited uyunisala and issued a warning to the local people about the problem of lithium mining.
According to the head of the delegation, Gillen Mo Gonzalez, the unique landscape of the salt plateau will be destroyed within 20 years.
The increasing scarcity of water around Chilean mines has also accelerated the decline in subsistence agriculture in the region.
The whole way of life is disappearing as families leave their side
It is impossible to exist on the mountain and go to the city.
Gonzalez said it was difficult to show the use of mines.
It is undeniable that communities are facing serious water shortages.
What we see is that rural subsistence farmers give up their families and let their families live a terrible life and work in the city.
Like any mining process, it is invasive and it leaves scars on the landscape, destroying the groundwater level and polluting the earth and local wells.
This is not a green solution.
This is not a solution at all.
Dawn of Colchani, a gray salt
A mining town on the edge of Uyuni Salar.
In the soft light, the salt plain takes on a pink hue, extending in all directions.
Overnight rain left a mirror for the apartment, reflecting a small group of workers scraping salt skins with rough picks, as they have done for generations.
The thin layer of water they dug up perfectly reflected the cloudless blue sky and a deep-thinking, distant volcano, and a sinister ribbon of yellow sulfur contaminated the mouth of the crater.
As we walked through the village, the children rushed out of the house and shouted, \"Hello, foreigner! \' (
White man, buy it from me! \')
When they stuffed a small bag of peanuts and colored pasankara (a hard-to-digest chewy popcorn) into my arms.
Francisco Quisbert, the 67-year-old leader of the farmers\' collective fruit Party, said that we want political power because, as Morales said, we have the right to have ourselves.
We have been here with the Spaniards before, and they have come to plunder our gold and silver and enslave our people.
This time we control the situation. this is our land and we will not tolerate outsiders.
If they come and take what is not theirs, there will be blood on this white earth.
We are told that Bolivia can become Saudi Arabia with lithium.
But it cannot be at the expense of our home and our environment.
Those who stare at Salar duyouni from the moon will never forget what they saw that day.
If Americans return to the moon in 20 years, they may no longer see the salt marsh in space.
Does the world need a green solution for transportation that is worth destroying this unique environment and the old way of life?
The metal form of lithium is silver, the lightest of all metals.
Most people will remember it from the school\'s chemistry class, beating violently on the surface when it is thrown into the water.
The reaction was so intense that the metal turned red.
A big problem with metal is that it is highly corrosive and can catch fire spontaneously.
In scientific laboratories, it must be stored under oil in order to prevent its severe oxidation.
First commercial lithium
In 1991, Sony released ion batteries, a huge development that completely changed consumer electronics. Lithium-
The ion battery is full of pressurized lithium salts dissolved in organic solvents (usually ether), with two electrodes and one from non-
Conductive micro
Perforated plastic sandwiched in the middle.
When a part of the circuit, lithium ion moves from a negative pole made of carbon (the anode)
To the positive electrode (the cathode)
Made from lithium cobalt oxide, the electrons are released and then transmitted in the circuit, resulting in energy.
The battery is being recharged
Charge by powering the battery.
This forces the ion back to the negative electrode so that the process can start again.
Lithium battery is light in weight and low in weight
About 5 cents a month.
They are much more powerful than similar batteries that use other chemical mixtures.
There are a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from.
The battery pack used in electric vehicles will contain several batteries tied together to make a unit. Lithium-
Ion batteries have a long shelf life, but they end up stopping charging.
They are toxic and need to be recycled.
Now more money is invested in electricity than ever before. car technology.
In the UK, especially a car, the electric Lightning GT, seems to have everything about the ecosystem
Conscious enthusiasts of the British sports car may want: luxurious interiors with a top speed of 30 mph and acceleration matching most gasolineDriving a vehicle.
All of this is generated by 30 on-board rechargeable batteries with no direct greenhouse gas emissions. The lithium-
Electric cars are not really zero.
Discharge cars unless the electricity used to charge the battery comes from renewable sources such as wind power.
But, according to the Energy Conservation Trust, charging electric vehicles from mains power is still \"significantly less\" than carbon pollution from using gasoline or diesel \".
It also saves money.
Electric vehicles are exempt from car taxes and traffic congestion charges in London.
When fuel is also taken into account, lightning can save the driver a lot of money.
The Peterborough-based lightning motor company demonstrated its hand-made prototype at 2008 UK International Auto Show in London and hopes to start delivering to customers by the end of this year, some of them have paid a deposit of £ 15,000.
Ian Sanderson, CEO of the company, told Live that the car was aimed at \"high net worth individuals\" who were interested in cars and the environment \".
Sanderson claims Lightning GT is 0-
Reach 60 miles per hour in four seconds and drive 200 miles with just one battery charge.
It will generate the same power as seven Ford companies, about BHP Billiton.
\"We believe that this is the future, and electric cars like Lightning GT powered by lithium will break the myth that electric cars are clunky and slow out of the water.
This is a special car that looks to match the best super sports car in the world.
Lightning is not the first electric sports car.
S. Tesla launched the pound; 60,000 battery-
Power sports car this year.
About 900 pieces have been ordered.
Lighting car company. co.
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