Boron Set to Overtake Lithium


Boron will Overcome Lithium as the Next Battery Material Champion

Boron is poised to overtake lithium as the frontrunner. It is a relatively new player in the battery game, but its unique properties make it a potential game-changer. Boron is non-flammable and has higher potential energy than lithium, meaning it can store more energy in a smaller space.



Boron and Lithium Market

Lithium prices have been skyrocketing recently due to the strong demand for lithium-ion batteries, from phones and laptops to electric vehicles.

However, lithium supply has not kept pace with demand, leading to concerns about how long this price rally can last. Hundreds of new lithium projects are currently under development around the world, but it remains to be seen whether these will be able to meet future demand.

Although B is on a similar trajectory to Li, there are now just six new boron projects worldwide, of which only one is permitted.

Fort Cady Boron Project of 5E Advanced Materials, Inc (NASDAQ: FEAM) in California is a permitted new B source, starting production within the next six months. The Project is located about 50 kilometers from Barstow and roughly 200 kilometers northeast of Los Angeles, close to the town of Newberry Springs.

Supply and Demand Relationships

Element B is a key ingredient in many important applications, including those related to decarbonization. For example, it is used in producing solar panels and wind turbines. It also produces insulation and energy-efficient windows, which help reduce energy consumption.

Boron demand

Boron demand

Source: 5e Advanced Materials, 2022 

The continued growth in demand for these applications is expected to lead to a significant increase in the demand for the element. In fact, the demand is expected to double between 2020 and 2030 and grow tenfold between 2020 and 2050, putting immense pressure on suppliers, which are already under strain.

As a result of this, countries around the world are turning their attention to the B supply gap. They are working to ensure that they have enough of this important resource to meet future needs.

Valuation Dynamics

Boron demand

Boron demand

Source: 5e Advanced Materials, 2022  

Lithium is a key component in lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles. The lithium market is, therefore, substantially driven by the demand for electric vehicles.

On the other hand, B has a wide range of applications, including traditional uses such as ceramics and borosilicate glass, decarbonization, food security, defense, space exploration, and pharmaceuticals. The boron market is, therefore, much broader than that for lithium. Another significant difference between the two elements is their abundance. B is half as abundant in the earth’s crust as Li.

FEAM Focused on Three Global Megatrends for Boron

Boron demand

Boron demand

Source: 5e Advanced Materials, 2022 

Food Security

As the world population continues to grow and the demand for food increases, there is a greater need than ever for effective agricultural practices. One element that is essential for healthy plants and crops is B. This micronutrient helps with cell division, water uptake, and photosynthesis and plays a key role in plant nutrition.

However, boron’s low mobility in soils is often unavailable in adequate quantities for plants. This can lead to poor plant growth and yields and decreased resistance to pests and diseases. As a result, farmers must use boron-based fertilizers to ensure that their crops receive the nutrients they need.


B is also important in producing renewable energy. It is used in manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries that store energy from these sources. In addition, boron-based materials are being developed for fuel cells, which could provide a cleaner and more efficient way to generate electricity.

With the world working to address climate change and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, it is clear that decarbonization is a necessary goal. B can help achieve this by enabling the transition to renewable energy sources and providing a more efficient way to store energy.

Domestic Supply

As countries look to reduce their reliance on imported goods, there is an increasing need for domestic suppliers of essential commodities like B. This has allowed FEAM to expand its operations and become a significant player in the global boron market.

By capitalizing on these megatrends, FEAM is positioning itself as a leader in the B industry for years to come. 

Boron Mines in the United States

Element B is crucial for crop development and is necessary for plant growth. Although there are just two significant producers in the United States—Searles Valley Minerals (mining commenced in 1913) and Rio Tinto (mining commenced in 1924)—it is also a scarce resource.

The FEAM project is the country’s first new boron project in the past century. Also, there haven’t been any new mines anywhere in the world in more than 20 years.