Special Issue "Sustainable Lithium Ion Batteries: From Production to Recycling"

A special issue of Batteries (ISSN 2313-0105).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Jennifer B. Dunn
Website
Guest Editor
Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University, USA
Interests: Life cycle analysis; energy systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Electric vehicles continue to gain market share, in part driven by governmental initiatives to clean up urban air, as such, we invite you to contribute to a Special Issue of Batteries, organized around the theme of the sustainability of lithium-ion batteries that are “under the hood” of these vehicles. It is important that researchers developing battery chemistry are exposed to the concept of considering the full supply chain impacts of the technology they are developing to inspire creativity at the bench that leads to sustainability on the road.

Electric vehicles (EV) are promoted as a sustainable transportation choice because, on a life-cycle basis, they emit fewer greenhouse gases than conventional vehicles. In addition, with no tailpipe emissions, fully electric vehicles can contribute to urban air quality improvements. In the evaluation of EV contributions to sustainable transportation, however, it is important to consider the production of the battery and its contribution to environmental impacts beyond life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions and urban air pollutant emissions. For example, emissions of sulfur oxides can be high when ore is smelted to recover cobalt and nickel. Previous analyses have demonstrated that these emissions can cause life-cycle SOx emissions of EVs to exceed those of conventional vehicles. Overall, mining of these metals can pollute the soil, water, and air of mining regions. These impacts can be mitigated through use of different materials in batteries that incur less environmental impacts in the supply chain of batteries. Furthermore, battery recycling poses an opportunity to reduce demand for newly-mined metals. Routes to battery recycling include pyrometallurgical, hydrometallurgical, and other technologies that target recovery of the active materials without significant alterations. Contributions to this issue will investigate environmental impacts of today’s lithium-ion batteries, how emerging battery chemistries might reduce battery environmental impact, and how opportunities for metal recovery through battery recycling can reduce demand for newly-mined metals.

Prof. Dr. Jennifer B. Dunn
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Batteries is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Supply chain
  • sustainability
  • recycling
  • materials

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Life Cycle Analysis of Lithium-Ion Batteries for Automotive Applications
Batteries 2019, 5(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries5020048 - 01 Jun 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
In light of the increasing penetration of electric vehicles (EVs) in the global vehicle market, understanding the environmental impacts of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) that characterize the EVs is key to sustainable EV deployment. This study analyzes the cradle-to-gate total energy use, greenhouse gas [...] Read more.
In light of the increasing penetration of electric vehicles (EVs) in the global vehicle market, understanding the environmental impacts of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) that characterize the EVs is key to sustainable EV deployment. This study analyzes the cradle-to-gate total energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, SOx, NOx, PM10 emissions, and water consumption associated with current industrial production of lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) batteries, with the battery life cycle analysis (LCA) module in the Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation (GREET) model, which was recently updated with primary data collected from large-scale commercial battery material producers and automotive LIB manufacturers. The results show that active cathode material, aluminum, and energy use for cell production are the major contributors to the energy and environmental impacts of NMC batteries. However, this study also notes that the impacts could change significantly, depending on where in the world the battery is produced, and where the materials are sourced. In an effort to harmonize existing LCAs of automotive LIBs and guide future research, this study also lays out differences in life cycle inventories (LCIs) for key battery materials among existing LIB LCA studies, and identifies knowledge gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Lithium Ion Batteries: From Production to Recycling)
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Open AccessArticle
Eco-Efficiency of a Lithium-Ion Battery for Electric Vehicles: Influence of Manufacturing Country and Commodity Prices on GHG Emissions and Costs
Batteries 2019, 5(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries5010023 - 19 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Lithium-ion battery packs inside electric vehicles represents a high share of the final price. Nevertheless, with technology advances and the growth of the market, the price of the battery is getting more competitive. The greenhouse gas emissions and the battery cost have been [...] Read more.
Lithium-ion battery packs inside electric vehicles represents a high share of the final price. Nevertheless, with technology advances and the growth of the market, the price of the battery is getting more competitive. The greenhouse gas emissions and the battery cost have been studied previously, but coherent boundaries between environmental and economic assessments are needed to assess the eco-efficiency of batteries. In this research, a detailed study is presented, providing an environmental and economic assessment of the manufacturing of one specific lithium-ion battery chemistry. The relevance of parameters is pointed out, including the manufacturing place, the production volume, the commodity prices, and the energy density. The inventory is obtained by dismantling commercial cells. The correlation between the battery cost and the commodity price is much lower than the correlation between the battery cost and the production volume. The developed life cycle assessment concludes that the electricity mix that is used to power the battery factory is a key parameter for the impact of the battery manufacturing on climate change. To improve the battery manufacturing eco-efficiency, a high production capacity and an electricity mix with low carbon intensity are suggested. Optimizing the process by reducing the electricity consumption during the manufacturing is also suggested, and combined with higher pack energy density, the impact on climate change of the pack manufacturing is as low as 39.5 kg CO2 eq/kWh. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Lithium Ion Batteries: From Production to Recycling)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterizing Large-Scale, Electric-Vehicle Lithium Ion Transportation Batteries for Secondary Uses in Grid Applications
Batteries 2019, 5(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries5010008 - 12 Jan 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Lithium ion battery modules have significant capacity left after their useful life in transportation applications. This empirical study successfully tested the used modules in secondary grid applications in laboratory conditions. The selection of the secondary application was based on the construction features of [...] Read more.
Lithium ion battery modules have significant capacity left after their useful life in transportation applications. This empirical study successfully tested the used modules in secondary grid applications in laboratory conditions. The selection of the secondary application was based on the construction features of the modules and the growing need for storage in grid operations. Description of the laboratory setup is provided in the context of a critical practical constraint where the battery management system and the usage and health history are not available to the secondary battery integrator. Charge and discharge profiles were developed based upon applications for peak shaving and firming renewables. Techno-economic analysis was focused on peak shaving at the utility level, considering a growing need for an affordable and environmentally friendly replacement to the traditional solutions based on environmentally costly peaker plants. The analysis showed strong evidence that near-term and future storage markets will be characterized by a large mismatch between the demand and supply of reused batteries from automotive primary applications for peak-shaving purposes in the generation side. The paper includes a discussion on successful adoption of cascaded use of batteries and their potential to reduce both economic and environmental cost of peak shaving. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Lithium Ion Batteries: From Production to Recycling)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Factors Affecting Capacity Design of Lithium-Ion Stationary Batteries
Batteries 2019, 5(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries5030058 - 28 Aug 2019
Abstract
Lead-acid batteries are currently the most popular for direct current (DC) power in power plants. They are also the most widely used electric energy storage device but too much space is needed to increase energy storage. Lithium-ion batteries have a higher energy density, [...] Read more.
Lead-acid batteries are currently the most popular for direct current (DC) power in power plants. They are also the most widely used electric energy storage device but too much space is needed to increase energy storage. Lithium-ion batteries have a higher energy density, allowing them to store more energy than other types of batteries. The purpose of this paper is to elaborate on the factors affecting the capacity design of lithium-ion stationary batteries. Factors that need to be considered in calculating the capacity of stationary lithium-ion batteries are investigated and reviewed, and based on the results, a method of calculating capacity of stationary lithium-ion batteries for industrial use is proposed. In addition, the capacity and area required for replacing the lead-acid batteries for nuclear power plants with lithium-ion batteries are reviewed as part of this case study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Lithium Ion Batteries: From Production to Recycling)
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Open AccessReview
Methodological Approaches to End-Of-Life Modelling in Life Cycle Assessments of Lithium-Ion Batteries
Batteries 2019, 5(3), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/batteries5030051 - 02 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
This study presents a review of how the end-of-life (EOL) stage is modelled in life cycle assessment (LCA) studies of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). Twenty-five peer-reviewed journal and conference papers that consider the whole LIB life cycle and describe their EOL modelling approach sufficiently [...] Read more.
This study presents a review of how the end-of-life (EOL) stage is modelled in life cycle assessment (LCA) studies of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). Twenty-five peer-reviewed journal and conference papers that consider the whole LIB life cycle and describe their EOL modelling approach sufficiently were analyzed. The studies were categorized based on two archetypal EOL modelling approaches in LCA: The cutoff (no material recovery, possibly secondary material input) and EOL recycling (material recovery, only primary material input) approaches. It was found that 19 of the studies followed the EOL recycling approach and 6 the cutoff approach. In addition, almost a third of the studies deviated from the expected setup of the two methods by including both material recovery and secondary material input. Such hybrid approaches may lead to double counting of recycling benefits by both including secondary input (as in the cutoff approach) and substituting primary materials (as in the EOL recycling approach). If the archetypal EOL modelling approaches are not followed, it is imperative that the modelling choices are well-documented and motivated to avoid double counting that leads to over- or underestimations of the environmental impacts of LIBs. Also, 21 studies model hydrometallurgical treatment, and 17 completely omit waste collection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Lithium Ion Batteries: From Production to Recycling)
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