Where does it come from and where is it going?
Where does it come from?
The main component of batteries is the alkali metal Lithium. It is soft, light, and highly reactive, especially with water and moisture. Due to its corrosiveness and reactivity, it never occurs by itself in nature, which means that it is very diffuse and requires lots of manpower to collect and concentrate it into a commercially viable form. The largest lithium deposits exist in Chile and Argentina, with considerable amounts also in Australia and China. Lithium is mined from brines or hard rock mining, both of which are very time, energy, and cost intensive procedures, especially for lithium. Because lithium is so diffuse, a lot of rock has to be mined just to attain a little bit of usable lithium.
Where does it go?
Batteries are often simply thrown in the trash when they are deemed empty. This is highly environmentally harmful because the metals contained in the battery, as well as any of its remaining reactive elements, are incredibly detrimental to any ecosystems and environments in which it may be discarded.