Does the oil we use today originate from the remains of dead dinosaurs?
No, but the actual answer is just as interesting.
The generally accepted theory is that today’s oil reserves come from organic materials that existed millions of years before dinosaurs roamed the earth. About 300 million years ago, these dead organic materials such as zooplankton and algae built up on the bottom of lakes and oceans in conditions where they couldn’t decompose. The organic matter then changed into kerogen, which eventually turned into oil through heat and pressure.
Today’s infographic further details how oil is formed, while also covering some of oil’s uses and history. It also mentions an alternate theory on how oil is formed, which we dive into deeper below.
Courtesy of Jones Oil
How Oil is Formed – An Alternate Theory?
While the aforementioned theory on fossilized organic material is thought to explain the vast majority of Earth’s oil reserves, there is actually another theory on how oil is formed that has been around for over a century. If it were ever proved to be true, it would be a game-changer for how we think about the world and natural resources.
The theory of abiotic oil postulates that some oil on Earth originated from non-organic materials. In other words, it is made somehow by natural forces deep in the planet, or it was deposited on in the crust by meteorites. To be fair, it is true that hydrocarbons have been proven to exist in outer space, where there are no organic materials. It was also shown in 2009 that ethane and heavier hydrocarbons can be synthesized under the pressure-temperature conditions of the upper mantle.
The trouble with the theory? So far, abiotic oil has not been proven to exist on Earth in any economic quantities. Oil exploration geologists have also not been able to make any discoveries using abiotic theories, and many abiotic claims have been debunked as pseudoscience.
For now, this theory seems like a long shot, but it’s still interesting to think about.
Visualizing China’s Dominance in Battery Manufacturing (2022-2027P)
This infographic breaks down battery manufacturing capacity by country in 2022 and 2027.
Visualizing China’s Dominance in Battery Manufacturing
With the world gearing up for the electric vehicle era, battery manufacturing has become a priority for many nations, including the United States.
However, having entered the race for batteries early, China is far and away in the lead.
Using the data and projections behind BloombergNEF’s lithium-ion supply chain rankings, this infographic visualizes battery manufacturing capacity by country in 2022 and 2027p, highlighting the extent of China’s battery dominance.
Battery Manufacturing Capacity by Country in 2022
In 2022, China had more battery production capacity than the rest of the world combined.
|Rank||Country||2022 Battery Cell|
Manufacturing Capacity, GWh
|% of Total|
|#7||🇰🇷 South Korea||15||1%|
With nearly 900 gigawatt-hours of manufacturing capacity or 77% of the global total, China is home to six of the world’s 10 biggest battery makers. Behind China’s battery dominance is its vertical integration across the rest of the EV supply chain, from mining the metals to producing the EVs. It’s also the largest EV market, accounting for 52% of global sales in 2021.
Poland ranks second with less than one-tenth of China’s capacity. In addition, it hosts LG Energy Solution’s Wroclaw gigafactory, the largest of its kind in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Overall, European countries (including non-EU members) made up just 14% of global battery manufacturing capacity in 2022.
Although it lives in China’s shadow when it comes to batteries, the U.S. is also among the world’s lithium-ion powerhouses. As of 2022, it had eight major operational battery factories, concentrated in the Midwest and the South.
China’s Near-Monopoly Continues Through 2027
Global lithium-ion manufacturing capacity is projected to increase eightfold in the next five years. Here are the top 10 countries by projected battery production capacity in 2027:
|Rank||Country||2027P Battery Cell|
Manufacturing Capacity, GWh
|% of Total|
China’s well-established advantage is set to continue through 2027, with 69% of the world’s battery manufacturing capacity.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is projected to increase its capacity by more than 10-fold in the next five years. EV tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act are likely to incentivize battery manufacturing by rewarding EVs made with domestic materials. Alongside Ford and General Motors, Asian companies including Toyota, SK Innovation, and LG Energy Solution have all announced investments in U.S. battery manufacturing in recent months.
Europe will host six of the projected top 10 countries for battery production in 2027. Europe’s current and future battery plants come from a mix of domestic and foreign firms, including Germany’s Volkswagen, China’s CATL, and South Korea’s SK Innovation.
Can Countries Cut Ties With China?
Regardless of the growth in North America and Europe, China’s dominance is unmatched.
Battery manufacturing is just one piece of the puzzle, albeit a major one. Most of the parts and metals that make up a battery—like battery-grade lithium, electrolytes, separators, cathodes, and anodes—are primarily made in China.
Therefore, combating China’s dominance will be expensive. According to Bloomberg, the U.S. and Europe will have to invest $87 billion and $102 billion, respectively, to meet domestic battery demand with fully local supply chains by 2030.
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