Recycling lithium-ion traction batteries is expected to contribute decreasing the environmental impact of electric vehicles. Recycling might not only help reducing the amount of primary material required to be supplied to the battery industry but also preventing landfill and incineration activities. Nevertheless, recycling does not imply per se an environmental benefit as its impact is affected by different issues such as the quality of the material recovered, the energy and material consumption by the process itself and the efforts caused by the required logistics. This chapter presents an analysis of the most relevant aspects of the recycling process of lithium-ion batteries from an environmental perspective. It first introduces a framework to understand the different ways in which a recycling industry might affect the environment. This framework is further applied to describe the potential environmental effects of recycling traction batteries. Using primary data, we conducted an energy and materials flow analysis of the process developed within the LithoRec project. Finally, we discuss the results of the life cycle assessment (LCA) performed within the context of the LithoRec project and identify key issues to be considered in order to develop recycling processes that contribute to develop an environmentally consistent recycling strategy parallel to the rising traction battery industry.
|Title of host publication||Recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries|
|Subtitle of host publication||The LithoRec Way|
|Editors||Arno Kwade, Jan Diekmann|
|Place of Publication||Cham|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
|Name||Sustainable Production, Life Cycle Engineering and Management|
Cerdas, F., Andrew, S., Thiede, S., & Herrmann, C. (2018). Environmental Aspects of the Recycling of Lithium-Ion Traction Batteries. In A. Kwade, & J. Diekmann (Eds.), Recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries: The LithoRec Way (pp. 267-288). (Sustainable Production, Life Cycle Engineering and Management). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-70572-9_16