Quantification and analysis of the environmental impacts associated with the battery recycling sector through Life Cycle Analysis


Master’s Thesis (TFM)


Erlantz Lizundia


Bilbao Engineering School (UPV/EHU)


Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy




The development of efficient, clean and safe energy production and storage technologies is one of the main priorities for sustainable development. Rechargeable batteries are key elements in moving from the current fossil-fuel-based transport model to a sustainable and efficient transport system based on renewable energy. The predominant role of secondary lithium-ion batteries in the field of energy storage has led to increased cost and limited reserves of virgin materials used in the battery industry.

In line with the principles of the Circular Economy, which aim to reintroduce materials into the economic cycle at the end of their useful life. Recycling and reuse of used lithium-ion batteries is considered a promising way to reduce environmental pressures associated with both the accumulation of toxic materials in the environment and the depletion of resources. 

Among the different recycling methods that are known, it is currently unclear whether hydrometallurgical or pyrometallurgical approaches are environmentally preferable. Therefore, the aim here is to shed light on the relevance of lithium-ion battery recycling by analysing and quantifying the environmental impacts associated with current graphite recycling methods in accordance with the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. For this purpose, OpenLCA and SimaPro software will be used. Other sensitivity analyses will help determine more environmentally friendly scenarios.

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