Is there lithium on the moon?

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aphh

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<p>Lithium is the 3rd element in the element table right after hydrogen and helium. It was formed in the big bang (so the theory goes), so it should be everywhere.</p><p>Of all the current battery technologies, lithium polymer seems the most promising only prohibited by cost of extraction of lithium.</p><p>Could it be extracted on the moon and used to make lithium polymer batteries there for the use of the moon base and various applications requring battery power on the moon?&nbsp;</p>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Lithium is the 3rd element in the element table right after hydrogen and helium. It was formed in the big bang (so the theory goes), so it should be everywhere.Of all the current battery technologies, lithium polymer seems the most promising only prohibited by cost of extraction of lithium.Could it be extracted on the moon and used to make lithium polymer batteries there for the use of the moon base and various applications requring battery power on the moon?&nbsp; <br />Posted by aphh</DIV><br /><br />Sure it's everywhere, but it is a light element, which the moon is low in.</p><p>Currently Li is not even in the top 10 in abundence in the Universe.</p><p>It would make sense that the earth would have more Lithium than the moon, and certainly would not be worth the expense to go there to mine it.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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aphh

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Sure it's everywhere, but it is a light element, which the moon is low in.Currently Li is not even in the top 10 in abundence in the Universe.It would make sense that the earth would have more Lithium than the moon, and certainly would not be worth the expense to go there to mine it. <br /> Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV></p><p>Yes, indeed it seems only Apollo 12 samples contained some Li. But this is a problem, because Lithium is in short supply also here on Earth.</p><p>If we can't extract enough Lithium without doing significant damage to the environment, there won't be things like electric vehicles in major quantities. The batteries will remain too costly. &nbsp;</p>
 
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kelvinzero

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<p>I didnt see any mention of it in this list:</p><p>http://www.moonminer.com/Lunar_regolith.html</p><p>However the choice of battery would probably be more determined by how hard it is to make. A battery that is merely a few percent as good as an earth battery could be very cost effective early on&nbsp;if it can be built there requiring only a few hundred kg of machinery sent from earth to create many tonnes of battery.</p><p>Another point is that perhaps we could use materials on the moon that would be unusable on earth. For example I read somewhere that some metal common on the moon&nbsp;(was it calcium?) was actually more conductive than copper but was useless on earth because it would explode in contact with water. Perhaps it could be used for power lines outside of bases. The same might be true for batteries.</p><p>Im sure there are options. How about a flywheel? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flywheel_energy_storage (note the mention of the gyrobusses )</p><p>alternatively, for vehicles, perhaps you dont need a battery, just restrict operation to during the moon's two week day.</p><p>In the moon's harsh sunlight, low gravity and total lack of wind we could probably have huge sail-like solar power collectors suspended above our vehicles. These sails might also act as important sunshades.</p>
 
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JonClarke

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<p>This element is not commonly analysed for.&nbsp; The limited assay data I could find indicated 3-12 ppm in lunar rocks.&nbsp; Probably as solid solution in feldspars, substituting for Na in plagioclase, or possibly for K in KREEP rocks.</p><p>Jon</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p>On Earth Li is concentrated in continental crustal rocks and further concentrated into pematite vens by hydrothermal activity.&nbsp; The Moon lacks continental crust and hydrothermal activity, and so Li would have to be extracted straight from rock.&nbsp; Very tough.</p><p>Jon</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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aphh

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>alternatively, for vehicles, perhaps you dont need a battery, just restrict operation to during the moon's two week day.<br /> Posted by kelvinzero</DIV></p><p>After two weeks of bright day comes a chilling two weeks of night. That's when the batteries are needed to maintain operability and prevent technology from freezing.</p><p>One option for this would be power from Alpha decay. However, the required Polonium or it's isotopes are even harder to come by than Lithium.&nbsp;</p>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>After two weeks of bright day comes a chilling two weeks of night. That's when the batteries are needed to maintain operability and prevent technology from freezing.One option for this would be power from Alpha decay. However, the required Polonium or it's isotopes are even harder to come by than Lithium.&nbsp; <br />Posted by aphh</DIV><br /><br />You're just makin' stuff up here, right? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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kelvinzero

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>After two weeks of bright day comes a chilling two weeks of night. That's when the batteries are needed to maintain operability and prevent technology from freezing.One option for this would be power from Alpha decay. However, the required Polonium or it's isotopes are even harder to come by than Lithium.&nbsp; <br />Posted by aphh</DIV></p><p>Or a garage :)</p><p>I think we are really talking about different things. We are talking about manufacture, so im&nbsp;talking of a pretty large scale moon base and many people. The base would need power, but it is free to use much heavier storage methods. How cheaply it can be made is much more important than its weight in that case.<br /></p>
 
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kelvinzero

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>You're just makin' stuff up here, right? <br />Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV></p><p>Hi MW,</p><p>Aphh&nbsp;is probably talking about&nbsp;something like&nbsp;this:</p><p>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunokhod_programme</p><p><em>"During the lunar nights, the lid was closed and a </em><em>polonium</em><em>-210 heat source kept the internal components at operating temperature."<br /></em></p>
 
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aphh

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>You're just makin' stuff up here, right? <br /> Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV></p><p>I'm trying to come up with a useful idea to advance space exploration ;)&nbsp;</p><p>How did you plan to power things during the 2 weeks of cold and dark? RTG's are one option with Polonium-210 having the half-life of 138 days and energy generating capacity of 140 watts per gram.</p><p>If I was a rich entrepreneur, I'd build a reactor to produce and sell Polonium-210 in larger quantities for RTG's.&nbsp;</p><p>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator </p>
 
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Mee_n_Mac

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>How did you plan to power things during the 2 weeks of cold and dark? Posted by <strong>aphh</strong></DIV></p><p>Wouldn't the easiest method be to power things the same way you would during the 2 weeks of sunlight ?&nbsp; I presume "the plan" is to use some form of PV array during the day to generate electrical power.&nbsp; So what's needed is to put another array or 2 so that 1 is always seeing sunlight.&nbsp; HVDC lines run power back to your base.&nbsp; Now finding power for portable things is another question.&nbsp; On first thought hydrogen fuel cells would seem to make sense.&nbsp; You're going to need water, might as well get another use out of it.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>-----------------------------------------------------</p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask not what your Forum Software can do do on you,</font></p><p><font color="#ff0000">Ask it to, please for the love of all that's Holy, <strong>STOP</strong> !</font></p> </div>
 
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aphh

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>So what's needed is to put another array or 2 so that 1 is always seeing sunlight.&nbsp; HVDC lines run power back to your base.&nbsp; <br />Posted by Mee_n_Mac</DIV></p><p>Obviously this arrangement is going to limit your longer term operations on the moon to a very restricted area. Peaks of eternal sun can only be found on the polar regions.</p><p>Portable "eternal" power source is one of the Holy Grails of space exploration, that would have almost limitless amount of applications on Earth aswell. </p><p>I mentioned the Lithium Polymer batteries, they have the capacity of 3 times that of Ni-Mh batteries of equivalent size, but as always, when something is really good, it is rare. Like Lithium.&nbsp;</p>
 
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Anglocowboy

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<p>I hope there is Lithium on the Moon or all those moon colonists are going to have no way to fight depression. Nyuk nyuk!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> "Make like Siamese twins and split... and then one of you die." </div>
 
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