This story was originally published by Newsweek and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Electric cars and smartphones of the future could be powered by supervolcanoes like Yellowstone after scientists discovered that ancient deposits within them contain huge reservoirs of lithium — a chemical element used to make lithium-ore batteries, supplies of which are increasingly dwindling.

Lithium, a soft white metal first discovered in 1817 by Johan August Arfvedson, has become widely used in manufacturing, most importantly in the production of rechargeable batteries for phones, laptops, cameras, and vehicles. It has also been used in psychiatric treatments and to produce nuclear weapons.