LK-99 Potential for Environmental Protection and Restoration

What is LK-99?

LK-99 is a so called, potential super conductor at room temperature that has recently been discovered by a team of researchers from South Korea. A material that is called a superconductor is different from a normal conductor (of heat and electricity such as metals) because a material capable of superconductivity has no electrical resistance and therefore no energy is lost as heat when electric current moves through it as opposed to normal conductors like copper wires where heat loss occurs every time current moves through the wires due to factors like length of the wire or material.

LK-99 is a gray-black appearance and is fairly easy to prepare as its structure is a modified form of lead-apatite with small bits of copper introduced in it. The research can be found on a preprint server where the researchers from Korea University have uploaded their papers.

However, the claims have yet not been confirmed not peer reviewed by any others as of 2nd August 2023. Independent teams and scientists are currently working to replicate it and the results of their findings of whether the claims are actually true or not will be announced by the end of August 2023.

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Why is LK-99 so ground breaking a discovery?

LK-99 is not just any superconductor- a material capable of conducting electricity resistance free. Because all superconductors only serve as one at critical temperatures mostly very cold temperatures ( like near absolute zero).

However, the cool thing about LK-99 is that it is a super conductor at room temperature and pressure which will allow it to conduct electricity resistance free and making it capable of producing stronger, uninterrupted magnetic fields without any interference or limiting factors like a critical temperature, heat or energy loss.

How can LK-99 change the world?- Its Impacts and Scenario for the Future

Currently, LK-99 has only been discovered and manufactured by Korean scientists and the remaining plethora of scientists are currently actively trying to replicate it and test it to confirm if it is actually true and possible.

If the claims are proven true and the research papers validated, it will be a total game changer for our world currently marred by a lot of global threats like climate change and mass extinction of various species due to ongoing extreme weather events and submerging of landmasses due to melting polar ice.

If LK-99 is what they say it is then it will be the start of the 3rd Industrial Revolution because of the sheer magnitude of this discovery. It is ground breaking in more than one ways as it will revolutionize and completely change everything in the fields of Physics, Engineering and Energy sector.

How is LK-99 different from regular superconductors of the past century?

The discovery of superconductors is definitely not new as they have been around since the past century, such as Mercury that acts as a superconductor at 4.2K. Although mercury is a metal at room temperature, it can act as a superconductor at 4.2 Kelvin. It is precisely because of this need of very cool/lower temperatures and high pressures for a metal to become a superconductor, we are not using them as that due to the high cost and energy consumption.

The cooling systems needed to make superconductors work are very costly and require Helium which itself is a non-renewable source that takes millennia to be produced on Earth again. Not to mention that besides the cost, the cooling systems require energy which releases GHGs and that again, is damaging to the environment.

All in all superconductors are not feasible for daily or practical applications mainly because of these factors and the material’s natural limitations. With LK-99 that could potentially change if this discovery is confirmed to be true!

Previously, as we know that our world is mostly powered by electricity generated from fossil fuels that also result in a lot of GHGs but also the normal transmission wires made of copper result in energy or heat loss. Thereby contributing to the Greenhouse Effect. However, if this material-LK99 is used instead for this purpose there will be a lack of energy loss and maximum use of the electricity generated and transmission from power stations.

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  1. It could be used in various industries for various purposes using normal cooling systems if required at all to perform various functions at room temperature and pressure.
  2. Visionary for Sustainable energy demand propelling us to a future of near-zero energy loss which is a great news in the face of climate change and exceeding global temperatures.
  3. less costly and economical transportation due to the LK-99 potentially capable of making stronger magnetic fields at ambient room temperature and pressure. (This could also mean more and widespread MagLev trains!) Efficiently cutting down GHGs.
  4. Superconductors since their discovery have only been used in complex and high technology labs and hospitals. However, with LK-99 this can be expanded to every day life and more applications in various industries due to its characteristic of generating stronger magnetic fields at normal temperature and pressure such as for Minerals and Geological characterization, spatial mapping, MRI, Better mobile communication, advancements in science and technology including better understanding the human brain.
  5. Super conductivity at normal temperature and pressure in the form of LK-99 will provide a solution to all our global challenges and problems. With the increasing population, we need more arable land, clean water, treatment facilities and most importantly the way our modern life is completely driven by energy and electricity consumption in more than one way. All of that will change if LK-99 discovery is proven to be true.
  6. This superconductors could also be used in supercomputers of the future to support in collecting and storing huge data, detect and warn about disasters or changes in the Earth‘s geography. Currently, if we would use superconductivity for these purposes it will require the energy equal to that consumed by a large city. It is easy to see why the discovery of LK-99 being an ambient superconductor is such a huge deal.
  7. Additionally, the potential superconductor in the form of LK-99 could help make water more accessible and make climate change modeling and forecasting in many inaccessible areas easier due to the potential of superconductor enabling water recycling and reuse.

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How LK-99 Could Help to Overcome Environmental Challenges?

According to NASA if these claims of LK-99 being a superconductor are true then we would have a solution for water purification, power distribution and storage, low-environmental impact transport, environmental sensing (particularly for the removal of unexploded munitions), monitoring the Earth’s magnetic fields for delicate changes and even the slightest of movement for predicting earthquakes and major solar activity would be readily available to be explored.

In the face of climate change and the looming dangers that even right now many countries are facing in the form of monsoon floods, droughts, water scarcity and heatwaves; it is clear that our Green house emissions are responsible for the global warming. It is a cyclic process in which the more energy we consume and generate the hotter our planet gets and as a result we get more extreme events and threat of climate change.

The energy sector is the one sector which humans are consuming increasingly which is not a surprise given our extreme reliance on it in the modern age and booming global population. However, to combat climate change the solution lies in cutting these emissions down and for that we need to find new ways to transform, generate and store electricity without much less. Self-sustaining, net zero-energy and net-zero carbon loss in our lifestyles is crucial. For this purpose, superconductivity at room temperature and pressure in the form of LK-99 could be the answer to all of our climate problems on Earth.

Reference: Nishijima, S. et al. (2013) Superconductivity and the environment: A roadmap, NASA/ADS. Available at: (Accessed: 02 August 2023).

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