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Special Issue "Sources and Markets of New Energy Minerals for Renewable Energy Generation and Storage"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A: Sustainable Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 7291

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Galos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-261 Kraków, Poland
Interests: mineral management; economic geology; mineral policy; applied mineralogy; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The share of renewable sources in the world’s total energy generation is expected to rise from ca. 10% in 2015 to at least 40%, but maybe even 70%, in 2050. Of the renewable energy sources, those with the greatest development prospects to 2050 are solar and wind energy. However, a key issue with their efficient use is the development of effective, large‑scale energy storage systems. Another key factor limiting the expected development of the use of solar and wind energy is the availability of the minerals that are absolutely crucial to the production of:

  • wind turbines, which require such rare earth metals as neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, and terbium and to some extent require boron, rhenium, tantalum, etc.;
  • photovoltaic cells, which require gallium, indium, silver, selenium, tellurium, and silicon and to some extent require, or in the future may require, cadmium, germanium, molybdenum, niobium, etc.; and
  • new generations of batteries, accumulators, and large-scale energy storage systems, which require lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, graphite, and lead and to some extent require, or in the future may require, zinc, cadmium, vanadium, etc.

Demand for many of these minerals over the next 30 years may be 4–12 times higher than their current total production, which may be a significant factor limiting the development of the use of these leading renewable energy sources.

In this context, this Special Issue aims to present the results of research on various aspects of the management, sources (existing and possible), and markets of the abovementioned minerals, which are currently used or may in the future be used for the production of wind turbines and photovoltaic cells and batteries, taking into account the issue of the security of their delivery within mineral policy frameworks at an individual country level and the international level.

Prof. Dr. Krzysztof Galos
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • minerals for renewable energy generation and storage
  • mineral markets
  • mineral security
  • mineral policy
  • energy security
  • renewable energy

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

Review
Prospects for the Development of the Russian Rare-Earth Metal Industry in View of the Global Energy Transition—A Review
Energies 2022, 15(1), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15010387 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1214
Abstract
Global energy transition trends are reflected not only in oil and gas market dynamics, but also in the development of related sectors. They influence the demand for various types of metals and minerals. It is well-known that clean technologies require far more metals [...] Read more.
Global energy transition trends are reflected not only in oil and gas market dynamics, but also in the development of related sectors. They influence the demand for various types of metals and minerals. It is well-known that clean technologies require far more metals than their counterparts relying on fossil fuels. Nowadays, rare-earth metals (REMs) have become part and parcel of green technologies as they are widely used in wind turbine generators, motors for electric vehicles, and permanent magnet generators, and there are no materials to substitute them. Consequently, growth in demand for this group of metals can be projected in the near future. The topic discussed is particularly relevant for Russia. On the one hand, current trends associated with the global energy transition affect the country’s economy, which largely depends on hydrocarbon exports. On the other hand, Russia possesses huge REM reserves, which may take the country on a low-carbon development path. However, they are not being exploited. The aim of this study is to investigate the prospects for the development of Russia’s rare-earth metal industry in view of the global energy transition. The study is based on an extensive list of references. The methods applied include content analysis, strategic management methods and instruments, as well as planning and forecasting. The article presents a comprehensive analysis of the global energy sector’s development, identifies the relationship between the REM market and modern green technologies, and elaborates the conceptual framework for the development of the REM industry in the context of the latest global tendencies. It also contains a critical analysis of the current trends in the Russian energy sector and the plans to develop the industry of green technologies, forecasts future trends in metal consumption within based on existing plans, and makes conclusions on future prospects for the development of the REM industry in Russia. Full article
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Review
Technology for the Recovery of Lithium from Geothermal Brines
Energies 2021, 14(20), 6805; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14206805 - 18 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5526
Abstract
Lithium is the principal component of high-energy-density batteries and is a critical material necessary for the economy and security of the United States. Brines from geothermal power production have been identified as a potential domestic source of lithium; however, lithium-rich geothermal brines are [...] Read more.
Lithium is the principal component of high-energy-density batteries and is a critical material necessary for the economy and security of the United States. Brines from geothermal power production have been identified as a potential domestic source of lithium; however, lithium-rich geothermal brines are characterized by complex chemistry, high salinity, and high temperatures, which pose unique challenges for economic lithium extraction. The purpose of this paper is to examine and analyze direct lithium extraction technology in the context of developing sustainable lithium production from geothermal brines. In this paper, we are focused on the challenges of applying direct lithium extraction technology to geothermal brines; however, applications to other brines (such as coproduced brines from oil wells) are considered. The most technologically advanced approach for direct lithium extraction from geothermal brines is adsorption of lithium using inorganic sorbents. Other separation processes include extraction using solvents, sorption on organic resin and polymer materials, chemical precipitation, and membrane-dependent processes. The Salton Sea geothermal field in California has been identified as the most significant lithium brine resource in the US and past and present efforts to extract lithium and other minerals from Salton Sea brines were evaluated. Extraction of lithium with inorganic molecular sieve ion-exchange sorbents appears to offer the most immediate pathway for the development of economic lithium extraction and recovery from Salton Sea brines. Other promising technologies are still in early development, but may one day offer a second generation of methods for direct, selective lithium extraction. Initial studies have demonstrated that lithium extraction and recovery from geothermal brines are technically feasible, but challenges still remain in developing an economically and environmentally sustainable process at scale. Full article
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