I take lithium carbonate as a medication. I was watching an "apocalypse-style" movie recently, which made me wonder how hard it would be to make my medication from scratch if I could no longer buy it. Some thoughts:

  • I might be able to make it from batteries containing lithium, but in an apocalypse, those might be too valuable. Maybe there are other sources of recycled lithium.
  • According to wikipedia, much of the world's lithium comes from brine pools in South America. I currently live on the California coast. I assume we don't have these...brine pools? Would it even be possible to obtain what I needed locally from natural sources?
  • I have read that lithium carbonate breaks up in your blood, so maybe any form of lithium would work, not necessarily lithium carbonate.
  • How would I figure out the dosage and the purity of my product? Lithium is well-known for its therapeutic level being close to its toxicity level.
  • What kind of equipment would I need?
  • How would I get my blood lithium level checks done to make sure I wasn't overdosing?

NOTE: I'm just curious. I'm not planning on actually abandoning my cheap store-bought meds for my amateur attempts at following a recipe I read online that could likely poison me.

  • $\begingroup$ Dead batteries would probably be your best bet. There isn´t really another use from where you could easily recycle it. Of course the west of US has potential natural deposits, Salt Lake City? A geologist can sure find you sth there. The extraction and purification will be a lot of work. Battery recyling can be done at home. If you know what you´re doing, and you know a lot about chemistry so you can safely and efficiently improvise in Postapocalyptica. Getting a doctorate in chemisty takes eight years or so, better start now. ;-) $\endgroup$ – Karl Jul 20 '20 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ Relevant youtu.be/U2UQ4-NOP9E $\endgroup$ – John Meacham Jul 23 '20 at 6:18

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