Study Finds Lithium-ion Batteries Cause Less Environmental Damage

Source: and EVWorldWire

A recent research undertaken at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and published in the current issue of Environmental Science and Technology, a scientific journal, provides details on the three major types of batteries that are currently in use, their efficiency and the quantity of environmental impact during their manufacturing process.

The research finds that on a per-storage basis, the nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery affects the environment worst, closely accompanied by the nickel cobalt manganese lithium-ion (NCM) and iron phosphate lithium-ion (LFP) batteries. The researchers have observed 11 types ecological impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions, ecotoxicity in freshwater, human toxicity and freshwater eutrophication excluding the ozone depletion potency. They have also found global warming discharges with higher level lifecycle than reported previously during the research.

The researchers found that the two Li-ion batteries performed better than then NiMH battery due to their 2 to 3 times increased energy storage capability in their life time and higher level of usage period efficiency in comparison with NiMH. The NCM and LFP Li-ion batteries are observed to contain less quantity of nickel and no trace of rare earth metals. The LFP batteries are found to offer more ecological benefits when compared to NCM due to its increased usage life period and use of metals that do not affect the environment.

All the three types of batteries needed the same level of energy during their production process, thus releasing the same level of greenhouse gases. The manufacture of polytetrafluoroethylene, which is used as a dispersant/binder in the electrode paste used in the batteries, found to be the cause for over 97% ozone depletion qualities of the batteries. The two Li-ion batteries released at least 14 to 15% increased level of carbon dioxide discharges during the production process due to release of halogenated methane discharges. The cell containers, module packages, materials used for separation and the electrolyte used in the packing of the batteries found causing less than 10% eco-damages in all categories. The researchers concluded that iron phosphate lithium-ion (LFP) batteries cause less environmental impact due to their increased life expectancy.