Batteries are an extremely important component in the transport systems of the future. All electrically powered vehicles will use batteries and the volumes will be incredibly large. This is why it is important to develop environmentally friendly material and manufacturing techniques from the start.
Industrial production of lithium-ion batteries is in its infancy, but the chemical risk and life-cycle assessments that Swerea IVF has carried out show a number of environmental issues related to manufacturing lithium batteries. During manufacture of lithium-ion batteries, a paste is spread over a metal foil. This paste contains NMP (N-Methylpyrrolidone) – a solvent that can cause genetic damage. It also contains a fluorinated polymer which may cause environmental damage during production. The ceramics group has a great deal of experience in creating water based systems for ceramic pastes and this knowledge is being used in the development of water based pastes for lithium-ion batteries. There are many significant environmental and cost benefits with this type of system. In addition, the group for functional fibres uses electrospinning to manufacture extremely effective and functional membranes used in batteries.
Avellán L.,Orlenius J., Zackrisson M.,(2010) “Life cycle assessment of lithium-ion batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles – Critical issues”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Article in press http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2010.06.004