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|SAN FRANCISCO Cheap Keenan Allen Jersey , Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- A new study identifies lake sediments preserved within some ancient supervolcanoes as a source of lithium, which is used to make the lithium-ion batteries powering mobile electronics.
Published Wednesday in Nature Communications, the study details a new method for locating lithium in supervolcanic lake deposits. Currently, most of the silvery-white metal comes from pegmatite deposits in Australia and brine deposits in high-altitude salt flats in Chile.
Supervolcanoes can produce massive eruptions of hundreds to thousands of cubic kilometers of magma. As the enormous loss of magma causes the roof of the chamber to collapse following eruption, they appear as huge holes in the ground Cheap Antonio Gates Jersey , known as calderas, rather than the cone-like shape typically associated with volcanoes.
The hole often fills with water to form a lake. Over tens of thousands of years, rainfall and hot springs leach out lithium from the volcanic deposits. The lithium accumulates, along with sediments, in the caldera lake Cheap Melvin Gordon Jersey , where it becomes concentrated in a clay called hectorite. Such supervolcanoes pose little risk of eruption because they are ancient.
To identify which supervolcanoes offer the best sources of lithium, researchers led by Gail Mahood, a professor of geological sciences at Stanford University's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, measured the original concentration of lithium in the magma Cheap Philip Rivers Jersey , because it is very difficult to measure directly the volatile element that easily shifts from solid to liquid to vapor.
To reach tiny bits of magma trapped in crystals during growth within the magma chamber, the researchers sliced through the host crystals to expose preserved magma blebs, which are 10 to 100 microns in diameter, then analyzed them with the Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe, or SHRIMP Cheap Melvin Ingram Jersey , in the SHRIMP-RG Laboratory at Stanford Earth, which is able to measure the isotopic and elemental abundances in minerals at a 30 micrometer-scale.
The team analyzed samples from a number of volcano sites, mostly in the United States, and determined that lithium concentrations varied widely as a function of the tectonic setting of the supervolcano.
And by analyzing other trace elements to determine their correlations with lithium concentrations, the researchers discovered that the trace elements can be used as a proxy for original lithium concentration: for example Cheap Joey Bosa Jersey , greater abundance of easily analyzed rubidium in the bulk deposits indicates more lithium, whereas high concentrations of zirconium indicate less lithium.
"We can essentially use the zirconium content to determine the lithium content within about 100 parts per million," lead author Thomas Benson, a recent PhD graduate at Stanford Earth, who began working on the study in 2012 Cheap Dan Fouts Jersey , was quoted as saying in a news release. "Now that we have a way to easily find more of these lithium deposits, it shows that this fundamental geological work can help solve societal problems - that's really exciting."
The researchers said exploring supervolcanoes for lithium would diversify its global supply.
Since its discovery in the 1800s, lithium has largely been used in psychiatric treatments and nuclear weapons. Beginning in the 2000s, lithium became the major component of lithium-ion batteries, which today provide portable power for everything from cellphones and laptops to electric cars.
WELLINGTON Wholesale Los Angeles Chargers Jerseys , Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay launched a new online portal and non-tariff barrier (NTB) clearing house on Tuesday to improve Kiwi access to international markets.
The government is committed to removing barriers to trade so New Zealand's exporters can compete internationally, McClay said in a statement.
"NTBs can be difficult and expensive for exporters to overcome and they are a significant issue," he said, adding that around 70 percent of New Zealand's exports are sent to the Asia-Pacific region where it is estimated that NTBs impose costs of 5.9 billion U.S. dollars alone.
"It's vital that our companies know where to turn when they encounter such barriers so we are today launching a new government online portal and clearing house," the minister said Wholesale Chargers Jerseys , adding that the new portal is tradebarriers.govt.nz.
All enquiries to the portal will now get a response from the government within 48 hours, McClay said, adding that officials from a range of government agencies will then work alongside the company to plan out next steps within six weeks.
The NTB clearing house was announced as part of the government's ambitious new trade strategy - Trade Agenda 2030 in March. It is backed up by an NTB flying squad and extra funding for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to improve access to international markets, according to the minister.
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