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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Life cycle assessment of an all-organic battery: Hotspots and opportunities for improvement

Zhang, Shan; Ericsson, Niclas; Hansson, Per-Anders; Sjodin, Martin; Nordberg, Ake

Abstract

Organic batteries are emerging as a potential sustainable power source for future flexible devices. Using life cycle assessment, this study analyzed the environmental impacts from the synthesis process for an all-organic battery with conducting redox polymers as active materials for electrodes. Synthesis steps were modeled and analyzed in detail, based on actual laboratory processes data for electrodes, and industrial data for other battery components. Complete and transparent inventory data are presented and can be used in future environmental assessments. The organic battery studied is still at an early development stage, so environmental hotspots and potential improvements in the synthesis processes were examined. For selected environmental impact categories, the life cycle assessment results showed that synthesis of cathode backbone was the major contributor (47-63%) to the environmental impacts of the all-organic battery cell among different synthesis stages, because of a long synthesis route associated with high solvent usage. Solvents (e.g., dichloromethane), catalysts (e.g., copper oxide, Pd (PPh3)4), zinc, and waste treatment processes were important single contributors to the total impacts. The results reveal significant potential for improvement by optimizing the amount of solvents needed to synthesize battery electrodes. Changing treatment methods for laboratory waste solvents can also strongly influence the results.

Keywords

Life cycle assessment (LCA); Emerging technologies; All-organic battery; Conducting redox polymer based electrodes

Published in

Journal of Cleaner Production
2022, Volume: 337, article number: 130454
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD