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Breakthrough New Battery From South Korea

Alex Koyfman

Written By Alex Koyfman

Posted February 7, 2024

Dear Reader,

Last week, I wrote to you about how lithium batteries are likely going to stick around for a while despite all the supposed moves being made to depart from the standard. 

In fact, There are two lithium-based lithium-ion alternatives currently being researched at 2 major American universities that have shown promise to radically cut charge time and increase battery life.

Today, I’m writing with another example of just how universal the lithium solution is to, well, the lithium problem

Earlier this week, researchers at the Chung-Ang University in South Korea announced that they had a breakthrough in charge speed and longevity by making precise modifications to a lithium-ion battery’s electrolyte. 

The electrolyte is the solution which separates the electrodes, and is also the location of where most catastrophic battery failures take place. 

Overheating, swelling, casing failure and fire are all common symptoms of a failing electrolyte, with all lithium ion batteries exhibiting one or more with advancing age.

Another side effect of repeated use is the decline in charge capacity, an unpleasant reality which anybody who’s owned a wireless device for more than a few years can attest to.

Performance Decay… Vanquished.

Research at the Seoul-based university succeeded in addressing all three of these design flaws.

Laboratory tests on a 1.2-Ah pouch cell implementing this modified electrolyte demonstrated that the battery could retain three times more capacity over 200 cycles over current standards.

lithium decline

In addition to longevity, which has been the bane of EV owners since the very start of the EV revolution, these batteries promise to charge much faster, and also alleviate fire risks associated with traditional liquid-organic electrolyte solutions. 

Put that all into a single package and what you get is enough to alter the course of the entire automotive market. 

Getting charge times down from the 20-30 minute range to the 5-10 minute range, which is what most of these lithium-powered lithium-ion alternative next generation batteries are going to feature, would break down some of the final walls of resistence for potentially millions of would-be EV buyers. 

At which point the choice to go electric will become a virtual no-brainer for at least 90% of the car-owning public. 

From Internal Combustion to Electrons

But here’s the thing, all of these lithium-ion successors are still themselves lithium powered. 

Which means the bull case for lithium, largely predicated on a healthy and growing lithium-powered EV market, remains intact. 

And you can see that fact illustrated pretty concisely in the chart below. Demand for lithium is going up while supply growth is lagging.

MI Black Lithium Image 13

Right now, the most exciting story in lithium over the last year has easily been the discovery at McDermitt Caldera. 

Ancient Eruptions… Tomorrow’s Batteries

The caldera — a remnant of an ancient eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano, has been determined to contain between 20m and 40m tons of lithium. That’s enough to fill global lithium supply for the next 8-12 years, all by itself! 

Here’s where the story gets really interesting… The company that owns it is a relative unknown. 

This is a stable company with a $750M market cap. Even with just 1% of the value of the resource, it might be the wealthiest company in the world right now, and nobody knows about it besides the shareholders.

Word of the discovery became public last summer, but hardly anybody noticed because lithium prices were in freefall after two solid years of irrational exuberance.

When I first got acquainted with this outfit — around the same time that news of the discovery broke, it was trading for twice where it is today. The reason? A general downturn in the lithium market. 

Now that we’ve hit a bottom, the next step might be the biggest resource run of the century. 

Get all the info you need on the McDermitt Caldera lithium play, right here.

Fortune favors the bold,

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Alex Koyfman

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His flagship service, Microcap Insider, provides market-beating insights into some of the fastest moving, highest profit-potential companies available for public trading on the U.S. and Canadian exchanges. With more than 5 years of track record to back it up, Microcap Insider is the choice for the growth-minded investor. Alex contributes his thoughts and insights regularly to Energy and Capital. To learn more about Alex, click here.

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