Musk confirms: “We will no longer need cobalt” – Elettriche

Elon Musk is fully convinced that the use of the cobalt for Tesla’s business it will no longer be needed. Today the American manufacturer, specializing in the production of battery electric vehicles, still counts on the use of some reserves of the mineral to sell its cars. But in the future, considering the controversy regarding its extraction, other raw materials will be chosen.

Tesla founder confirmed the no-cobalt policy on Twitter, in response to a discussion raised by other users. Cobalt is a mineral with very interesting characteristics for electronics; however, the mines that contain it are under accusation for various factors such as the exploitation of workers, the possible political corruption around them; the ecological cost related to its processing. Consequently Musk prefers to order other materials that may be more ethical. “We do not use any gram of cobalt in most of our cars, except small amounts in some models (and we will soon go to zero), while in cell phones and laptop computers it is one of the main components.“Wrote Musk shifting the focus from cars to other commonly used electronic devices.

Cobalt is currently used in the cathode of a lithium ion battery because it allows a high ‘delivery rate’ of the lithium ions to the anode and oxidizes easily to create the stable lithium cobalt oxide compound, which prevents Excess oxygen molecules create a fire hazard. One of the solutions to replace cobalt is represented by the mix of manganese, nickel and aluminum: this is the reason why a few months ago Musk had begun to talk frequently about the opportunity to collect more nickel and direct it towards the production of batteries. While manganese has greater availability and is less concentrated in problematic parts of the world, where the risk of reaching extremes such as child labor is greater.

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FP | Samuel Prosino

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