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Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 1233–1244 | Cite as

Comparative life cycle assessment of lithium-ion batteries with lithium metal, silicon nanowire, and graphite anodes

  • Zheshan Wu
  • Defei Kong
Original Paper
  • 286 Downloads

Abstract

Lithium metal and silicon nanowires, with higher specific capacity than graphite, are the most promising alternative advanced anode materials for use in next-generation batteries. By comparing three batteries designed, respectively, with a lithium metal anode, a silicon nanowire anode, and a graphite anode, the authors strive to analyse the life cycle of different negative electrodes with different specific capacities and compare their cradle-to-gate environmental impacts. This paper finds that a higher specific capacity of the negative material causes lower environmental impact of the same battery. The battery with a lithium metal anode has a lower environmental impact than the battery with a graphite anode. Surprisingly, although the silicon nanowire anode has a higher specific energy than graphite, the production of a battery with silicon nanowires causes a higher environmental impact than the production of a battery with graphite. In fact, the high specific energy of silicon nanowires can decrease the environmental impact of a battery with silicon nanowires, but silicon nanowire preparation causes extremely high emissions. Therefore, batteries with lithium metal anodes are the most environmentally friendly lithium-ion batteries. Batteries with lithium metal anodes could be the next generation of environmentally friendly batteries for electric vehicles.

Keywords

Lithium metal anode Silicon nanowire anode Environmental impact assessment Specific energy Lithium-ion battery 

Abbreviation

1,4-DB

1,4-Dichlorobenzene

BMS

Battery management systems

C

Graphite

C-A

Graphite anode

CO2

Carbon dioxide

DoD

Depth of discharge

EVs

Electric vehicles

FDP

Fossil depletion potential

Fe

Iron

FEP

Freshwater and marine eutrophication

FU

Functional unit

GWP

Global warming potential

HTP

Human toxicity potential

kg eq

Kilograms equivalents

LCA

Life cycle assessment

LFP

LiFePO4

LFP-Li

Battery with LiFePO4 cathode and lithium metal anode

Li

Lithium metal

Li-A

Lithium metal anode

LIBs

Lithium-ion batteries

Li–O2

Lithium–air battery cells

Li–S

Lithium–sulphur battery

LNCM

0.5Li2MnO3·0.5LiNi0.44Co0.25Mn0.31O2

MDP

Metal depletion potential

MEP

Marine eutrophication potential

N

Nitrogen

N/P ratio

Capacity ratio of the negative electrode to the positive electrode

NCM

Lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide, LiNi1/3Mn1/3Co1/3O2

NCM-C

Lithium-ion battery pack with NCM cathode and graphite anode

NCM-Li

Lithium-ion battery pack with NCM cathode and lithium metal anode

NCM-SiNWs

Lithium-ion battery pack with NCM cathode and silicon nanowire anode

P

Phosphor

PM10

Particulate matter less than 10 μm in diameter

PMF

Particulate matter formation

SiNWs

Silicon nanowires

SiNW-A

Silicon nanowire anode

SO2

Sulphur dioxide

TAP

Terrestrial acidification potential

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are very grateful to Professor Xiaoming Ma for helpful discussions, to the editor and reviewers for their valuable comments, and to Qinhong Luo for his valuable help with plotting the data. We would like to thank James Ding and Lianyi Quan for helping the researchers to check grammar errors.

Supplementary material

10098_2018_1548_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (17 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 17 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Urban Habitat Environmental Science and Technology, School of Environment and EnergyPeking University Shenzhen Graduate SchoolShenzhenChina
  2. 2.School of Advanced MaterialsPeking University Shenzhen Graduate SchoolShenzhenChina

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