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Environmental impacts of lithium production showing the importance of primary data of upstream process in life-cycle assessment

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Abstract

Life-cycle assessment (LCA) emphasizes obtaining primary data from an on-site process to reduce uncertainties. However, data of the upstream process from secondary sources also yield significant uncertainties, which have not been drawn enough attention. This study aims to explore the importance of primary data of the upstream process in LCAs. Here, we choose lithium, a key component of lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery, as a case to present a cradle-to-gate LCA for its production by rock-based technology (LRT). Then, we compare the environmental impacts of lithium by LRT with that by brine-based technology (LBT) and the Li-ion battery using lithium by the two methods. The result shows that the impacts of rock-based lithium production are dominated by the leaching process, which has the highest levels of impacts for 8 of 10 environmental categories. Besides, all 10 impact categories of lithium produced by LRT are much larger than that by LBT, with differences up to 60.4 -fold. We also find that the Li-ion battery pack by rock-based lithium offers a 17–32% increase in acidification and global warming potential relative to that by brine-based lithium. Our results contribute by providing the first mass-produced life-cycle inventory of rock-based lithium and showing the importance of primary data of the upstream process in LCAs.

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... More recently, Kelly et al. (2021) assessed the production of LiOH⋅H 2 O from the brine and spodumene sources in Chile and Australia, respectively. The inventory data modeled in Stamp et al. (2012) and Jiang et al. (2020) are also incorporated in the Ecoinvent v3.8 database, which is currently the largest LCA database for inventory data (Ciroth and Burhan, 2021). The geographical representation of the data used in these LCA studies primarily covers lithium production from brines in Salar de Atacama (Chile), and spodumene in Talison (Australia). ...
... Contributions to climate change impacts and energy use are frequently covered in LCA literature on lithium supply (Jiang et al., 2020;Kelly et al., 2021). However, Stamp et al. (2012) point out that the inclusion of water scarcity, specifically in relation to brine processes, is a neglected issue. ...
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... Integrating the categories into two different groups (environmental or health) does not mean that each of them has a boundary-limit effect on the attributed influence area, but that the category is seen as more appropriate for being considered as such. Moreover Jiang et al. (2020) analyse similar categories to assess environmental and health impacts from lithium production, using rock-based compared to brine-based technology. They conclude that impacts from the first are much larger than those from the second, because rock-based technology requires "a considerable amount of fossil fuel and chemicals to melt the rock", while the second "just needs solar energy to evaporate water". ...
... Following Jiang et al. (2020), who provide "the first life-cycle inventory for mass-produced rock-based lithium" focusing on onsite processing, we support the claim, that more primary data of upstream processes are needed. Future research should follow this line and improve LCA analysis with a focus on the impacts of extraction itself, as in the case of local extraction in B-A. ...
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... These impacts are included within LCA. The proportion of the product's upstream embodied impact outside a manufacturing company's direct operations can be substantial and provide opportunities for impact mitigation 94,98 . ...
... One study obtained operational data from a spodumene converter and the results indicated a carbon footprint of 15.8 kg CO 2 eq. per kg lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) 98 , compared with 0.3 kg CO 2 eq. per kg LCE for the brine route 109 . ...
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... In addition, Stamp et al. (2012) affirmed that the environmental impact of lithium carbonate production remains insignificant in comparison with the complete transportation effect that happened due to electric vehicles. Moreover, Jiang et al. (2020) acknowledged that rock-based lithium production processed through the leaching method revealed the highest environmental impact on 8 out of 10 environmental categories. As well, Davidsson Kurland, (2020) stated that lithium production for usage in an electric vehicle would immensely increase the demand for electricity consumption. ...
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... On the contrary, Stamp et al. [80] demonstrates that unfavorable conditions, such as the solar discontinuity and the consequent inefficient evaporation, make the ore extraction choice the best one. In this LCA study, a brine extraction carried on with favorable conditions is considered and it is found GWP s, Li = 4.50 kg CO 2 /kg Li [77,81]; ED s, Li = 31.15 MJ/kg Li [80]. ...
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... Pour la production du LiOH par l'hydratation de Li2CO3, les impacts environnementaux seraient associés aux effluents liquides, jusqu'à 5 % du Li2CO3 pouvant se retrouver dans ces derniers (Althaus et collab., 2007). À titre d'exemple, pour la production du Li2CO3, dans une usine en Chine, à partir d'un concentré de spodumène provenant de l'Australie, les effets potentiellement toxiques pour l'écosystème étaient principalement associés à l'étape de lixiviation (Jiang et collab., 2020). Ainsi, d'après les résultats de cette étude, la production du Li à partir du spodumène présenterait un potentiel toxique 9,3 fois plus élevé que la production à partir des saumures. ...
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Here, electro-chemical properties of BN and BP nanocages as anodes in metal-ion batteries are examined. The effect of halogens adoption of BN and BP-NCs on electro-chemical properties of M-IBs are investigated. Results showed that the BP nanocages as anode electrode in M-IBs has higher efficiency than BN nanocages and the K-IB has higher cell voltage than N-IBs. Results indicated that the halogens adoption of BN and BP-NCs are improved the cell voltage of M-IBs. Results proved that the F-doped M-IBs have higher cell voltage than M-IBs. Finally, F-B17P18 as anodes in K-IB is proposed as suitable electrodes.
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Lithium is an important strategic resource and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau possesses abundant liquid lithium resources in the salt lakes. Nanofiltration is a promising technique for lithium extraction from salt-lake brines. However, no information on the environmental impact of lithium nanofiltration extraction is available. This study used life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle cost (LCC) and water consumption (LCWC) methods to evaluate the environmental burden of lithium nanofiltration extraction technique with the functional unit of 1 kg Li2CO3 products. The results showed that nanofiltration stage was the key process to produce the environment burden based on higher values of global warming potential, acidification potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, soot & ashes, and nutrient enrichment in comparison with the other stages of lithium extraction. Electricity consumption was the major contributor to global warming potential. The total life cycle cost was 18.01 USD with internal cost accounting for 99.99%. Direct water consumption was 22 times higher than indirect water consumption in this process. The water and energy consumption of nanofiltration stage accounted for 98.05% and 53.95% of total consumption, respectively. The total cost of energy and water consumption for nanofiltration technique in different regions followed the order of Tibet>Inner Mongolia>Sinkiang>Qinghai. This study provided quantitative data and theoretical basis for lithium resource exploitation in the ecologically-fragile regions in the world.
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Purpose Currently, environmental sustainability of washing machines, one of the most popular household appliances in people’s daily life, has gained much attention from governments and suppliers due to resource and energy consumptions as well as emissions in the production, distribution, use, and disposal processes. Therefore, it is necessary to systematically evaluate the environmental impacts from a life cycle perspective to explore the sustainability improvement opportunities of washing machines especially for China, a major producer, exporter. and consumer. Methods This study is conducted according to the International Organizations for Standardization’s 14040 standard series from cradle to grave. The research object is a Chinese-produced horizontal-axis washing machine. The production and recycling data mainly come from field investigations on representative firms, including both household appliance production and recycling firms in China. The use phase data are mainly from 1330 questionnaires about Chinese residents. The secondary data are supplemented from databases, literature, and authoritative technical manuals. The potential environmental impacts are evaluated using the CML2001 methodology built into the GaBi version 6.0 software. The hotspots throughout the life cycle of the washing machine are determined with the impact categories of abiotic depletion, acidification potential, global warming potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, eutrophication potential, and toxicity. Results and discussion The results show that the production and use phases are the main contributors to the environmental impacts dominated by electronics, plastic components, and electricity consumption as well as the wastewater discharge in use phase which brings eutrophication potential. While, the end-of-life phase brings recycling credits due to the recycling of materials such as copper, steel, and plastics. In particular, aluminum and copper consumption in the electronics, electricity consumption, and plastics used in injection molding of plastic parts, electricity consumption, and detergent use in use phase are the main hotspots based on the results of life cycle impact assessment. The use phase scenario analysis shows that water temperature is the most important factor that decides the environmental impacts because heating water consumes large amounts of electricity. Conclusions This quantitative life cycle assessment can be a useful tool for decision-makers to understand the life cycle environmental impacts of Chinese washing machines and explore sustainability improvement opportunities, as well as help manufacturers identify priorities for actions from an environmental protection perspective.
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Background, aim and scope In 2005, a comprehensive comparison of life cycle impact assessment toxicity characterisation models was initiated by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)-Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Life Cycle Initiative, directly involving the model developers of CalTOX, IMPACT 2002, USES-LCA, BETR, EDIP, WATSON and EcoSense. In this paper, we describe this model comparison process and its results-in particular the scientific consensus model developed by the model developers. The main objectives of this effort were (1) to identify specific sources of differences between the models' results and structure, (2) to detect the indispensable model components and (3) to build a scientific consensus model from them, representing recommended practice.
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Battery-powered electric cars (BEVs) play a key role in future mobility scenarios. However, little is known about the environmental impacts of the production, use and disposal of the lithium ion (Li-ion) battery. This makes it difficult to compare the environmental impacts of BEVs with those of internal combustion engine cars (ICEVs). Consequently, a detailed lifecycle inventory of a Li-ion battery and a rough LCA of BEV based mobility were compiled. The study shows that the environmental burdens of mobility are dominated by the operation phase regardless of whether a gasoline-fueled ICEV or a European electricity fueled BEV is used. The share of the total environmental impact of E-mobility caused by the battery (measured in Ecoindicator 99 points) is 15%. The impact caused by the extraction of lithium for the components of the Li-ion battery is less than 2.3% (Ecoindicator 99 points). The major contributor to the environmental burden caused by the battery is the supply of copper and aluminum for the production of the anode and the cathode, plus the required cables or the battery management system. This study provides a sound basis for more detailed environmental assessments of battery based E-mobility.
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Under the pressure of the global demand for environmental protection, the Chinese government has placed significant importance to the development and application of electric vehicles (EVs). However, the energy-saving and emission-reduction features of EVs remain the subject of debate. The current study conducted a life cycle assessment (LCA) on the power system of a gasoline vehicle (GV) and two EVs powered by lithium–iron ferrous phosphate (LFP) battery and nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) lithium battery based on Chinese practical production data. Results show that EVs have larger abiotic depletion potential (ADP) and environmental impact comprehensive value than GVs during the life cycle. The comprehensive environmental load of the LFP power system is 376% higher than that of the GV power system, and the comprehensive environmental load of the NCM power system remains 119% higher than that of the GV power system. The amounts of CO2, PM2.5–10, PM2.5, SO2 and CO emissions from EVs are significantly lower than those from GVs with respect to Chinese energy-saving policies and actual emission-reduction techniques. In addition, sensitivity analysis results indicate that the optimisation of electric power structures can reduce GWP, CO and CO2 by 15%, 37% and 14%, respectively. Additionally, the increase in battery energy density by 100 Wh/kg can reduce the emissions of air pollutants by 14–20%. Lastly, this study puts forward the following suggestions: optimise domestic energy structures, increase the proportion of clean energy, prioritise the promotion of the EVs in South China and increase battery energy density.
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Pig husbandry has been developing rapidly during the past few decades, which has greatly increased the amounts of pig slurry as well as environmental impacts. How to appropriately treat the pig slurry has turned to a great challenge for sustainable pig husbandry, and this issue is especially critical to China, the biggest producer and consumer of pigs. This study tried to explore the effective ways of treating pig slurry, which could mitigate environmental impacts and increase resource utilization. The main method used in this study was life cycle assessment, which could evaluate the environmental impacts of four ways of treating pig slurry. Each kind of treatment technology consisted of three main processes - in-house handling, outdoor treatment and end disposal. This study used the CML2001 method to evaluate environmental impacts. Data sources for this study came from field investigations at pig farms, suppliers of relevant technologies, literature and the ecoinvent database. The results indicated that global warming potential (GWP), eutrophication potential (EP), and acidification potential (AP) were the three main impact categories. Meanwhile, all scenarios showed negative environmental impacts in ozone layer depletion potential (ODP), freshwater aquatic ecotoxicity potential (FAETP), abiotic depletion potential (ADP, element & fossil) and human toxicity potential (HTP) impact categories. It was also found that Deep-pit system and field application (DP-FA) scenario performed best in ADP (element & fossil). In-house separation and field application (S-FA) scenario had the lowest GWP and the second lowest EP, while having negative impacts in ODP, FAETP, HTP and ADP (element & fossil). Therefore, this study suggests using DP-FA scenario from the perspective of sustaining long-term resources and popularizing the S-FA scenario in the term of mitigating environmental impacts.
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A major methodological issue for life cycle assessment, commonly used to quantify greenhouse gas emissions from livestock systems, is allocation from multifunctional processes. When a process produces more than one output, the environmental burden has to be assigned between the outputs, such as milk and meat from a dairy cow. In the absence of an objective function for choosing an allocation method, a decision must be made considering a range of factors, one of which is the availability and quality of necessary data. The objective of this study was to evaluate allocation methods to calculate the climate change impact of the economically average (€/ha) dairy farm in Ireland considering both milk and meat outputs, focusing specifically on the pedigree of the available data for each method. The methods were: economic, energy, protein, emergy, mass of liveweight, mass of carcass weight and physical causality. The data quality for each method was expressed using a pedigree score based on reliability of the source, completeness, temporal applicability, geographical alignment and technological appropriateness. Scenario analysis was used to compare the normalised impact per functional unit (FU) from the different allocation methods, between the best and worst third of farms (in economic terms, €/ha) in the national farm survey. For the average farm, the allocation factors for milk ranged from 75% (physical causality) to 89% (mass of carcass weight), which in turn resulted in an impact per FU, from 1.04 to 1.22 kg CO2-eq/kg (fat and protein corrected milk). Pedigree scores ranged from 6.0 to 17.1 with protein and economic allocation having the best pedigree. It was concluded that when making the choice of allocation method, the quality of the data available (pedigree) should be given greater emphasis during the decision making process because the effect of allocation on the results. A range of allocation methods could be deployed to understand the uncertainty associated with the decision.
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Lithium is an indispensable ingredient for the next-generation clean technologies. With the aim of identifying opportunities to improve lithium resource efficiency, this study establishes a trade-linked material flow analysis framework to analyze the lithium flow both along its life cycle on the national level and international trade on the global level. The results indicate that global lithium production reached 171 kt lithium carbonate equivalent in 2014. Chile, Australia and China played the leading roles in lithium commodity production. 75% of lithium-ion batteries are used for consumer electronics. From the international trade perspective, the trade of lithium commodities existed commonly all around the world. The major origins of lithium minerals and chemicals were Chile, Australia and Argentina. China was the major destination of lithium minerals and chemicals. Lithium carbonate, ores, and lithium concentrate were the three dominating trade commodities, altogether accounting for 67% of total trade volume. This study implies high necessity of establishing domestic lithium recycling system and international cooperation between trade partners in lithium waste management.
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With the mass market penetration of electric vehicles, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions associated with lithium-ion battery production has become a major concern. In this study, by establishing a life cycle assessment framework, GHG emissions from the production of lithium-ion batteries in China are estimated. The results show that for the three types of most commonly used lithium-ion batteries, the (LFP) battery, the (NMC) battery and the (LMO) battery, the GHG emissions from the production of a 28 kWh battery are 3061 kgCO2-eq, 2912 kgCO2-eq and 2705 kgCO2-eq, respectively. This implies around a 30% increase in GHG emissions from vehicle production compared with conventional vehicles. The productions of cathode materials and wrought aluminum are the dominating contributors of GHG emissions, together accounting for around three quarters of total emissions. From the perspective of process energy use, around 40% of total emissions are associated with electricity use, for which the GHG emissions in China are over two times higher than the level in the United States. According to our analysis, it is recommended that great efforts are needed to reduce the GHG emissions from battery production in China, with improving the production of cathodes as the essential measure.
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Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery is widely recognized as the most promising battery technology for future electric vehicles (EV). To understand the environmental sustainability performance of Li-S battery on future EVs, here a novel life cycle assessment (LCA) model is developed for comprehensive environmental impact assessment of a Li-S battery pack using a graphene sulfur composite cathode and a lithium metal anode protected by a lithium-ion conductive layer, for actual EV applications. The Li-S battery pack is configured with a 61.3 kWh capacity to power a mid-size EV for 320 km range. The life cycle inventory model is developed with a hybrid approach, based on our lab-scale synthesis of the graphene sulfur composite, our lab fabrication of Li-S battery cell, and our industrial partner's battery production processes. The impacts of the Li-S battery are assessed using the ReCiPe method and benchmarked with those of a conventional Nickle-Cobalt-Manganese (NCM)-Graphite battery pack under the same driving distance per charge. The environmental impact assessment results illustrate that Li-S battery is more environmentally friendly than conventional NCM-Graphite battery, with 9%–90% lower impact. Finally, the improvement pathways for the Li-S battery to meet the USABC (U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium) targets are presented with the corresponding environmental impact changes.
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We report the first cradle-to-gate emissions assessment for a mass-produced battery in a commercial battery electric vehicle (BEV); the lithium-ion battery pack used in the Ford Focus BEV. The assessment was based on the bill of materials and primary data from the battery industry, i.e., energy and materials input data from the battery cell and pack supplier. Cradle-to-gate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the 24 kWh Ford Focus lithium-ion battery are 3.4 metric tonnes of CO2-eq. (140 kg CO2-eq. per kWh or 11 kg CO2-eq. per kg of battery). Cell manufacturing is the key contributor accounting for 45% of the GHG emissions. We review published studies of GHG emissions associated with battery production to compare and contrast with our results. Extending the system boundary to include the entire vehicle we estimate a 39% increase in the cradle-to-gate GHG emissions of the Focus BEV compared to the Focus internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV), which falls within the range of literature estimates of 27-63% increases for hypothetical non-production BEVs. Our results reduce the uncertainties associated with assessment of BEV battery production, serve to identify opportunities to reduce emissions, and confirm previous assessments that BEVs have great potential to reduce GHG emissions and provide local emission free mobility.
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Based on Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology, this paper analyzes the total energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHGs), NOx, SOx and PM emissions during material production and battery production processes of nickel-metal hydride battery (NiMH), lithium iron phosphate battery (LFP), lithium cobalt dioxide battery (LCO) and lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) battery, assuming that the batteries have same energy capacity. The results showed that environmental performance of LFP battery was better than the other three, and that of NiMH battery was the worst. The experimental results also showed the total energy consumption of LFP battery was 2.8 times of NiMH battery and GHGs emission was 3.2 times during material production, and the total energy consumption was 7.6 times of NIMH battery and GHGs emission was 6.6 times during battery production
Article
Sodium-ion batteries are emerging as potential alternatives to lithium-ion batteries. This study presents a prospective life cycle assessment for the production of a sodium-ion battery with a layered transition metal oxide as a positive electrode material and hard carbon as a negative electrode material on the battery component level. The complete and transparent inventory data are disclosed, which can easily be used as a basis for future environmental assessments. Na-ion batteries are found to be promising under environmental aspects, showing, per kWh of storage capacity, environmental impacts at the lower end of the range published for current Li-ion batteries. Still significant improvement potential is given, especially by reducing the environmental impacts associated with the hard carbon production for the anode and by reducing the nickel content in the cathode active material. For the hard carbons, the use of organic waste can be considered to be promising in this regard. Nevertheless, when looking at the energy storage capacity over lifetime, achieving a high cycle life and good charge–discharge efficiency is fundamental. This represents the main challenge especially when competing with LFP–LTO type Li-Ion batteries, which already show extraordinarily long lifetimes.
Chapter
Technologies used for producing lithium chemicals and lithium metal from mineral sources, salt lake, salar brines, saline water, etc., are reviewed in this chapter. Processes treating lithium-bearing hard rocks normally involve first thermal treatment of these rocks at high temperature, followed by water leaching to release lithium values into solution. When salt lake or salar brines are used to recover lithium, solar evaporation is commonly used to concentrate lithium and precipitate salts of major elements such as K, Na, Mg, Ca, etc. Leach liquors or concentrated brines are then further treated using precipitation, ion exchange, etc., to remove residual contaminants. Carbonation using soda ash or carbon dioxide is preferred to precipitate lithium carbonate as the final product whereas lithium hydroxide is frequently recovered via electrodialysis and crystallization. These products usually are of battery grade (99.5% purity) and could be further processed to produce high purity compounds (>99.9%) by redissolution, ion exchange, and reprecipitation steps. Salar brines are currently used as dominant feedstock for the production of lithium compounds around the world principally due to low operation cost and high reserves as compared to those from mineral sources. A brief evaluation of the economics of processing brines and spodumene ores from several commercial projects is also provided in this chapter.
Article
Purpose Nowadays, environmental sustainability of textile has gained much attention from government and suppliers due to the resource consumption and pollutant emissions. Besides, different consumer behaviors can result in quite different environmental consequences mainly in terms of water and energy consumption. Therefore, it is necessary to systematically evaluate the environmental impacts of textiles from a life cycle perspective to improve the sustainability of textiles especially for China, the biggest producer, exporter, and consumer in the world. Methods This study is conducted according to the International Organizations for Standardization’s (ISO) 14040 standard series. The declared unit is a piece of 100 % cotton short-sleeved T-shirt. The production data mainly come from field investigations of representative mills in China. The use-phase data are mainly from 924 questionnaires of Chinese residents. The secondary data from databases, literatures, and authoritative statistical data are supplemented in case primary data are not available. The potential environmental impacts are evaluated using the CML2001 and USEtox methodologies built into the GaBi version 6.0 software. We determine hotspots throughout the life cycle of the cotton textile considering the impact categories of abiotic depletion, acidification potential, global warming potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, eutrophication potential, water use, and toxicity. Results and discussion The results of the study show that cotton cultivation, dyeing, making-up, and use-phases are the main contributors to the environmental impacts. In particular, fertilizer, pesticide, and water use in cotton cultivation, coal, dyes, and auxiliaries use in dyeing, electricity use in making-up, detergent and water use in washing, and electricity use in spinning are the hotspots based on the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) results. The use-phase scenario analysis shows that compared with machine washing, electric drying, and ironing share the majority of electricity consumption. Compared with Americans, Chinese washing habits are much more environmental-friendly and bring much lower environmental impacts in the use stage. Conclusions Energy consumption, chemical use, and water use are main contributors to most impact categories, which help us to find hotspots and potential improvements of sustainability.
Article
Background, Goal and ScopeSystem expansion is a method used to avoid co-product allocation. Up to this point in time it has seldom been used in LCA studies of food products, although food production systems often are characterised by closely interlinked sub-systems. One of the most important allocation problems that occurs in LCAs of agricultural products is the question of how to handle the co-product beef from milk production since almost half of the beef production in the EU is derived from co-products from the dairy sector. The purpose of this paper is to compare different methods of handling co-products when dividing the environmental burden of the milk production system between milk and the co-products meat and surplus calves. Main FeaturesThis article presents results from an LCA of organic milk production in which different methods of handling the co-products are examined. The comparison of different methods of co-product handling is based on a Swedish LCA case study of milk production where economic allocation between milk and meat was initially used. Allocation of the co-products meat and surplus calves was avoided by expanding the milk system. LCA data were collected from another case study where the alternative way of producing meat was analysed, i.e. using a beef cow that produces one calf per annum to be raised for one and a half year. The LCA of beef production was included in the milk system. A discussion is conducted focussing on the importance of modelling and analysing milk and beef production in an integrated way when foreseeing and planning the environmental consequences of manipulating milk and beef production systems. ResultsThis study shows that economic allocation between milk and beef favours the product beef. When system expansion is performed, the environmental benefits of milk production due to its co-products of surplus calves and meat become obvious. This is especially connected to the impact categories that describe the potential environmental burden of biogenic emissions such as methane and ammonia and nitrogen losses due to land use and its fertilising. The reason for this is that beef production in combination with milk can be carried out with fewer animals than in sole beef production systems. Conclusion, Recommendation and PerspectiveMilk and beef production systems are closely connected. Changes in milk production systems will cause alterations in beef production systems. It is concluded that in prospective LCA studies, system expansion should be performed to obtain adequate information of the environmental consequences of manipulating production systems that are interlinked to each other.
Article
This study presents the life cycle assessment (LCA) of three batteries for plug-in hybrid and full performance battery electric vehicles. A transparent life cycle inventory (LCI) was compiled in a component-wise manner for nickel metal hydride (NiMH), nickel cobalt manganese lithium-ion (NCM), and iron phosphate lithium-ion (LFP) batteries. The battery systems were investigated with a functional unit based on energy storage, and environmental impacts were analyzed using midpoint indicators. On a per-storage basis, the NiMH technology was found to have the highest environmental impact, followed by NCM and then LFP, for all categories considered except ozone depletion potential. We found higher life cycle global warming emissions than have been previously reported. Detailed contribution and structural path analyses allowed for the identification of the different processes and value-chains most directly responsible for these emissions. This article contributes a public and detailed inventory, which can be easily be adapted to any powertrain, along with readily usable environmental performance assessments.
Article
Environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) has developed fast over the last three decades. Whereas LCA developed from merely energy analysis to a comprehensive environmental burden analysis in the 1970s, full-fledged life cycle impact assessment and life cycle costing models were introduced in the 1980s and 1990 s, and social-LCA and particularly consequential LCA gained ground in the first decade of the 21st century. Many of the more recent developments were initiated to broaden traditional environmental LCA to a more comprehensive Life Cycle Sustainability Analysis (LCSA). Recently, a framework for LCSA was suggested linking life cycle sustainability questions to knowledge needed for addressing them, identifying available knowledge and related models, knowledge gaps, and defining research programs to fill these gaps. LCA is evolving into LCSA, which is a transdisciplinary integration framework of models rather than a model in itself. LCSA works with a plethora of disciplinary models and guides selecting the proper ones, given a specific sustainability question. Structuring, selecting, and making the plethora of disciplinary models practically available in relation to different types of life cycle sustainability questions is the main challenge.
Article
Life Cycle Assessment is a tool to assess the environmental impacts and resources used throughout a product's life cycle, i.e., from raw material acquisition, via production and use phases, to waste management. The methodological development in LCA has been strong, and LCA is broadly applied in practice. The aim of this paper is to provide a review of recent developments of LCA methods. The focus is on some areas where there has been an intense methodological development during the last years. We also highlight some of the emerging issues. In relation to the Goal and Scope definition we especially discuss the distinction between attributional and consequential LCA. For the Inventory Analysis, this distinction is relevant when discussing system boundaries, data collection, and allocation. Also highlighted are developments concerning databases and Input-Output and hybrid LCA. In the sections on Life Cycle Impact Assessment we discuss the characteristics of the modelling as well as some recent developments for specific impact categories and weighting. In relation to the Interpretation the focus is on uncertainty analysis. Finally, we discuss recent developments in relation to some of the strengths and weaknesses of LCA.
ISO 14040 Series: Environmental Life Cycle Assessment -Principles and Framework
ISO, 2006. ISO 14040 Series: Environmental Life Cycle Assessment -Principles and Framework. International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Geneva.
report on lithium carbonate industry in China
  • L Jia
Jia, L., 2015. 2014 report on lithium carbonate industry in China. Inorg. Chem. Ind. 47 (2), 78 (In Chinese).
2014 report on lithium carbonate industry in China
  • Jia
Contribution of Li-ion batteries to the environmental impact of electric vehicles
  • Notter