Researchers cite lithium and cobalt production as the most likely to fall short of expected demand levels in the next few years, if EV take-up grows as desired or mandated by many political leaders. In short, new discoveries of supplies will be required if present battery technology is to be maintained. Failing that, ‘net zero’ may need a plan B.
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As the world shifts to electric vehicles to reduce climate change, it is important to quantify future demands for key battery materials, says TechXplore.
In a new report, Chengjian Xu, Bernhard Steubing and a research team at the Leiden University, Netherlands and the Argonne National Laboratory in the U.S. showed how the demands of a lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese oxide dominated battery will increase by many factors between 2020 to 2050.
As a result, supply chains for lithium, cobalt and nickel will require significant expansion and likely additional resource discovery.
Nevertheless, uncertainties are large relative to the development of electrical vehicle fleets and battery capacities per vehicle.
While closed-loop recycling plays a minor but increasingly important role to reduce the primary material demand until 2050, researchers must implement advanced recycling strategies to economically recover battery-grade materials from end-of-life batteries.
This work is now published on Nature Communications Materials.
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December 28, 2020 at 03:27AM