The European Union (EU) expects global demand for batteries to increase 14-fold by 2030 compared to 2018. According to the requirements from Brussels, batteries used in the EU must meet several criteria, such as high charge capacity, durability, and recyclability – i.e., the ability to be reintroduced into the material cycle at the end of their useful life. Moreover, they must be produced sustainably and from materials extracted in compliance with social and environmental standards.
Techno-economic simulation tools, cost-benefit analysis, and business model innovation are needed to assess advanced battery technologies. The EU-funded TwinVECTOR project will establish a center of excellence at the Tomas Bata University in Zlín (TBU), Czechia, focusing on next-generation battery sustainable design, energy business models, and sustainability assessments. Involved partners are KIT, VTT, AIT and BayFor. The first event of the project “Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) Building and Modelling for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Batteries” is part of a series of 6 webinars. Each webinar will consist of two presentations on the topic sustainability assessment and batteries, covering different relevant use cases . These online webinars are carried out in cooperation with StoRIES, EERA Joint Program Energy Storage or POLiS. The webinars will be open to anybody and provide sufficient space for discussion.
June 26, 2023, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM CEST
10:00 Welcome and Introduction
10:10 Mudit Chordia (Chalmers University of Technology) - “Navigating data gaps in Life Cycle Assessment of Lithium-ion battery production”
11:00 Dr. Roland Hischier (EMPA) - “Towards more flexibility and transparency in life cycle inventories for Lithium-ion batteries”
12:00 End of Webinar
Presentation 1: “Navigating data gaps in Life Cycle Assessment of Lithium-ion battery production” by Mudit Chordia
Life cycle assessment (LCA) practitioners assessing environmental impacts of Lithium-ion battery (LIB) production are plagued with lack of data concerning the energy and material inputs to the production facility and the supply chain of raw materials. Although, LCA studies on LIB production have been conducted for several years, a number of recently published studies still rely on older ones for data – which were based on small-scale facilities, proxies, or stoichiometric calculations.
Development of the GREET database has helped alleviate some of the issues regarding the availability of data. However, relying on a single source of data implies that there is lack of representativity, and the LCA practitioners are tied to the technical and methodological choices in GREET. LCA practitioners in recent years have presented studies based on technical permit applications, physics-based models, and vendor data. Although these approaches complement GREET, they lack the versatility to address the growing number of LIB chemistries and cell formats being implemented by battery manufactures. Further, with a growing interest in the industry to develop technologies reliant on less scare metals such as the sodium-ion batteries, there is a need to develop tools that guide technology development by estimating environmental impacts of future industrial-scale production.
Mudit Chordia is a doctoral candidate at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. Mudit’s research focuses on assessing environmental impacts of large-scale LIB production and the supply chain of raw materials. Currently, Mudit is working on developing a physics-based model for filling data gaps in LCA of LIB production, that can also serve as a basis for assessing impacts from industrial scale production of upcoming battery chemistries.
Presentation 2: “Towards more flexibility and transparency in life cycle inventories for Lithium-ion batteries” by Roland Hischier
A successful evolution of the transportation sector towards electro-mobility depends, among others, on the battery chemistry and technology, and its related environmental impacts. Poor availability of data at the commercial production scale and the diversity in modelling choices made evaluating the environmental impacts of Lithium-ion batteries (LIB) over the past decade difficult and uncertain. At Empa, we aimed at contributing to the creation of flexible and transparent life cycle inventories of LIB for background databases by means of a consequently modular approach, applicable as a common framework to model various generations and chemistries of LIB. So far, we compiled such modular LCI datasets of current and near-future market LIB chemistries, namely NMC111, NMC811, NCA, and LFP by using the most recent data from existing sources, as well as the internal, technical knowhow. In a first analysis of our data, we included a wide range of sensitivity analysis in order to evaluate the relevance of choices in areas of scarce data availability. Besides a more detailed view on the established framework, we will focus in our presentation on a comparison of the results with other data sources, and dare a view into future developments and their influence on such an analysis.
Eleonora Crenna is a Scientist in the Advancing Life Cycle Assessment Group at Empa in St. Gallen (Switzerland). She coordinates the activities related to the LCA of new materials and technological innovations in the electromobility, construction and food sector within various Swiss, European and international projects.
Roland Hischier leads the Advancing Life Cycle Assessment Group at Empa in St. Gallen. After having spent 3 years in the ecology department of a private company, he joined Empa beginning of 2000. He was involved in numerous LCA studies dealing mainly with ICT, mobility or nanotechnology. He is the president of the board of ecoinvent, having contributed to its content for about 20 years.
Merve Erakca (KIT), Jens Buchgeister (KIT), Hüseyin Ersoy (KIT), Manuel Baumann (KIT), Viera Pechancová (TBU)
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. Grant Agreement No. 101078935