Lithium-ion battery systems: a process flow and systems framework designed for use in the development of life cycle energy model
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The use of Lithium-ion batteries in the automotive industry has increased tremendously in the last few years. The anticipated increase in demand of lithium to power electric and hybrid cars has prompted researchers to examine the long term sustainability lithium as a transportation resource. To provide a better understanding of future availability, this thesis presents a systems framework for the key processes and materials and energy flows involved in the electric vehicle lithium-ion battery life cycle, on a global scale. This framework tracks the flow of lithium and energy inputs and outputs from extraction, to production, to on road use, and all the way to end of life recycling and disposal. This process flow model is the first step in developing a life cycle analysis model for lithium that will eventually help policymakers assess the future role of lithium battery recycling, and at what point in time establishing a recycling infrastructure becomes imminent.