Deconstructing the Li-ion battery: What are the most prevalent mineral inputs?

What materials are in play when discussing the lithium-ion battery?

The anode in most lithium-ion batteries is predominantly made up of graphite which acts as host for the lithium ions. For example, there are 54 kg of graphite in the battery anode of each Tesla Model S5.

In contrast, the make-up of the cathode varies widely with mineral compositions changing as researchers look to improve energy efficiency and safety. But while multiple variations exist, there are currently three typical lithium-ion batteries used commercially:

6   Aluminium is not part of these ‘prevalent materials’ due to its relatively marginal use in only one of the cathode types mentioned above. Furthermore, although copper is a crucial component to EVs, it is not present in the lithum-ion battery.
7   Graphite is not a metal. However, it is often referred to as one of the ‘battery metals’ in the Li-ion battery industry. We use the phrase ‘battery metals’ to include graphite in this paper to reflect this industry phraseology.

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