Next Article in Journal
How Much Time Does a Farmer Spend to Produce My food? An International Comparison of the Impact of Diets and Mechanization
Next Article in Special Issue
Environmental and Energy Performance of Ethanol Production from the Integration of Sugarcane, Corn, and Grain Sorghum in a Multipurpose Plant
Previous Article in Journal
Taking the Step towards a More Dynamic View on Raw Material Criticality: An Indicator Based Analysis for Germany and Japan
Previous Article in Special Issue
Feasibility of Small Wind Turbines in Ontario: Integrating Power Curves with Wind Trends
Article

A Critical Assessment of the Resource Depletion Potential of Current and Future Lithium-Ion Batteries

by 1,* and 1,2
1
Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU), Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe 76133, Germany
2
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe 76131, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Diego Iribarren and Ian Vázquez-Rowe
Resources 2016, 5(4), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5040046
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 2 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Analysis of Energy Systems under Sustainability Aspects)
Resource depletion aspects are repeatedly used as an argument for a shift towards new battery technologies. However, whether serious shortages due to the increased demand for traction and stationary batteries can actually be expected is subject to an ongoing discussion. In order to identify the principal drivers of resource depletion for battery production, we assess different lithium-ion battery types and a new lithium-free battery technology (sodium-ion) under this aspect, applying different assessment methodologies. The findings show that very different results are obtained with existing impact assessment methodologies, which hinders clear interpretation. While cobalt, nickel and copper can generally be considered as critical metals, the magnitude of their depletion impacts in comparison with that of other battery materials like lithium, aluminum or manganese differs substantially. A high importance is also found for indirect resource depletion effects caused by the co-extraction of metals from mixed ores. Remarkably, the resource depletion potential per kg of produced battery is driven only partially by the electrode materials and thus depends comparably little on the battery chemistry itself. One of the key drivers for resource depletion seems to be the metals (and co-products) in electronic parts required for the battery management system, a component rather independent from the actual battery chemistry. However, when assessing the batteries on a capacity basis (per kWh storage capacity), a high-energy density also turns out to be relevant, since it reduces the mass of battery required for providing one kWh, and thus the associated resource depletion impacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: battery; energy storage; environmental impact; life cycle assessment; lithium-ion; resource depletion; sodium-ion; system analysis battery; energy storage; environmental impact; life cycle assessment; lithium-ion; resource depletion; sodium-ion; system analysis
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Peters, J.F.; Weil, M. A Critical Assessment of the Resource Depletion Potential of Current and Future Lithium-Ion Batteries. Resources 2016, 5, 46. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5040046

AMA Style

Peters JF, Weil M. A Critical Assessment of the Resource Depletion Potential of Current and Future Lithium-Ion Batteries. Resources. 2016; 5(4):46. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5040046

Chicago/Turabian Style

Peters, Jens F., and Marcel Weil. 2016. "A Critical Assessment of the Resource Depletion Potential of Current and Future Lithium-Ion Batteries" Resources 5, no. 4: 46. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources5040046

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop