(124b) Life Cycle Comparison of Lithium Ion Battery Manufacturing Methods

Dai, Q. - Presenter, University of Michigan


Although lithium ion batteries
(LIB) are considered to be a promising power storage option for battery
electric vehicles (BEVs), little work has been done to improve and optimize the
manufacturing of LIBs from a life-cycle perspective. In this study, the
environmental impacts of five commercially available LIBs based on different
cathode chemistries, including LiCoO2, LiMn2O4,
LiCoMnO4, LiNiMnO4 and LiFePO4, are examined to
address the differences in material flows in the production phase of LIBs.  In addition, solid state and sol-gel
synthesis pathways are investigated for each cathode materials to account for
the differences between wet chemistry and dry chemistry, with a particular
interest in process heat input and organic solvent use. The results indicate
that using solid state pathway, LiMn2O4
appears to be the most environment-benign cathode material, followed by LiFePO4.
For all of the cathode materials, the environmental burdens of sol-gel pathway
outweigh that of the solid state synthesis method,
with organic solvent as the largest contributor. In both cases, starting
materials containing nickel and cobalt are responsible for a considerable share
of the environmental impacts pertinent to the manufacturing of LIBs. A
comparison of the environmental impacts of anode active materials and the
operational phase impacts of BEVs relative to internal combustion engine
vehicles will also be presented in this talk.