As the world embraces electric vehicles (“EVs”) and more countries work toward adopting a zero carbon economy, the demand for battery minerals continuously grows.
The battery itself was the brainchild of an Italian more than 270 years ago, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that the idea was enhanced by a team of scientists.
Currently, the battery may be the key to the universal acceptance of the natural resources sector, especially if one considers the steadily increasing demand for metals out of which batteries can be made. As stated above, this big appetite is primarily driven by a widespread acceptance of an urgent need to decrease carbon emissions globally and the resulting manufacture of EVs.
The word “battery” was minted in 1749, during electricity experiments conducted by Benjamin Franklin. While it may not be commonly known, the person behind the invention of the battery was Alessandro Volta, an Italian who was the first to record the electrical phenomena in 1791 brought about by two different metals linked together using a moist electrolyte.
However, it wasn’t until 1800 that Volta thought up the first battery, comprised of zinc discs and copper kept separate by a brine-soaked cloth. Volta’s pile, as it was referred to, had several issues and was further improved in the 19th century.
The team of scientists —John Daniell, William Sturgeon and William Cruickshank— solved issues with the voltaic pile, including hydrogen bubbles, impurities within the zinc plus leaking electrolyte. But it wasn’t until 1837 that further improvements were made to the Daniell cell, as it had been christened by Golding Bird, a physician.
Bird went as far as to use the cell in London-based Guy’s Hospital. In 1839, William Grove, a Welshman, designed a cell that offered almost twice as much voltage as the Daniell cell did, using a platinum cathode inserted in a concentrated solution of nitric acid and a zinc anode in dilute sulfuric acid. This battery become so popular that it was used by the telegraph networks found in America between 1840 and 1860.
Nearly two centuries later, many analysts suspect that the emergence of electric cars will be significant to mining, especially now that the industry has a modern purpose and the increasing demand for these minerals will lead to direct investments in mining firms.
Many mining companies, such as Excellon Resources Inc. (TSX: EXN) (NYSE American: EXN) (FSE: E4X2), are set to reap the rewards of extracting battery metals and preparing them for use in different applications.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Excellon Resources Inc. (TSX: EXN) (NYSE American: EXN) (FSE: E4X2) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/EXN
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