Water footprint of the manufacturing of a traction lithium ion battery pack

Maeva Philippot, Elixabete Ayerbe, Erik Hoedemaekers, Joeri Van Mierlo, Maarten Messagie

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper

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Mining and refining activities are known to have an impact on water quality. The number of different metals and the quantity present in a lithium-ion battery raises questions on the impact on water footprint of the manufacturing of an electric vehicle. This life cycle assessment study therefore assesses the impact on water quality (eutrophication, toxicity and acidification) and on water scarcity of the manufacturing of a NCA traction battery. This paper presents a cradle-to-gate study that also focuses on the influence of impact assessment methods on water scarcity results.
The impact on freshwater eutrophication and ecotoxicity is driven by the presence of precious metal in the electronic components of the module housing. The impact on water scarcity is between 28 m3 and 1800 m3 per pack, depending on the method used for the assessment. The direct use of water during the cell manufacturing is the main contributor to water scarcity for five out of six impact assessment methods. Ecoscarcity 2013 method shows a result slightly different than the other impact assessment methods due to the high relative difference in the characterization factors for countries with different hydrologic profiles. This finding raises the question of the use of global datasets from generic databases for water footprint assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 19 May 2019
Event32nd International electric vehicle symposium & exhibition EVS32 - Lyon, France, Lyon, France
Duration: 19 May 201922 May 2019
Conference number: 32


Conference32nd International electric vehicle symposium & exhibition EVS32
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