Boom times ahead for lithium?

Demand for lithium will continue to grow strongly, according to Lithium Australia, driven by an increased need for battery storage.

The ASX-listed company completed a $6.55 million capital raising this week, during a bad period for resource stocks. $4 million of this was from Lanstead Capital.

The ABC reports that managing director Adrian Griffin said demand for lithium would only grow, with a paradigm shift around the way people thought about power.

"That means renewables (renewable energy) and it means a move to portable power, and it doesn't matter if it's your laptop, your mobile phone, your car, or even your city,” he told the ABC.

"The types of power being generated in the future are going to require storage and lithium gives you the ability to store that power."

Elsewhere it is being reported that a new “thermoresponsive” polymer technology developed at Stanford University could make lithium-ion batteries safer.

The material, detailed in Nature Energy, uses polyethylene, spiky nickel microparticles and graphene, and coats electrodes.

When a critical temperature is reached, the composite material swells and the nickel particles contained in it separate. This causes conductivity to plummet and rules out the risk of the battery bursting into flames.

Experts put cases of batteries bursting into flames at less than one per 10 million cells (not counting battery abuse tests) according to Scientific American.