Life Cycle Assessment of Li-ion Batteries (Case Study: Anodes with Graphite and Cobalt Oxide)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran Iran

2 Assisstant Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran

3 Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran

4 Assisstant Professor, Department of Energy, Materials and Energy Research Center, Tehran, Iran


Lithium-ion batteries due to their higher energy density and lower associated environmental impacts comparing to the other batteries, recently have been highly considered. The materials used in anode, are one of the most important parts affecting batteries’ energy density and environmental impacts. The aim of this study is to investigate how environmental emissions of different materials as anode for li-ion batteries can be influenced by increasing the produced energy per mass unit of active material and also how battery recycling can change the potential environmental impacts caused by batteries. In this study, the primary weight of components needed for different scenarios was identified according to the laboratory experiences, resources and literatures. Then, the primary weight data were normalized based on the identified functional unit which in this study proposed to be 1000 mAh energy produced by anode active material of battery and the inventories of all the environmental impacts and energy use related to the all components used in battery including active material (synthesized anode material), electrolyte materials (LiPF6 in NMP, ethylene carbonate, dimethyl carbonate) and binder were prepared using GREET2 model’s data. After classification, characterization was done based on characterization factors of CML method and finally weighting of different environmental impacts was done based on MET modeling method. The investigation of environmental impacts of batteries with graphite and cobalt oxide anode shows that batteries with cobalt oxide anode have higher greenhouse gas effects, acid gases, photochemical smog and energy use comparing to the batteries with graphite anode. On the other hand, the impacts of batteries with cobalt oxide anode when recycled can significantly decreased and therefore, it can be possible to achieve batteries with smaller size, lower weight and higher energy density with lower environmental impacts.



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