Life Cycle Assessment of Large-Scale Lithium-Ion Battery Production and Recycling

Life cycle assessments (LCA) have highlighted lithium-ion battery (LIB) production as a substantial source of CO₂ emissions from electric vehicles. However, there is large variation in results between studies, and an important explanation is that factory data from industrial scale LIB production is difficult to acquire. The benefits and burdens of LIB waste handling and material recovery also vary. A lack of methodological rigor in the end-of-life modeling has led to both under- and overestimations of recycling benefits. Currently, two data sources dominate in LCA studies of LIBs, the “GREET model” and the Ecoinvent database, which both have weaknesses. In addition, there are knowledge gaps regarding the effects of rapid development in all LIB life cycle stages. As a result, there is a need for in-depth investigations of large-scale battery production and methodologically consistent LCA studies based on new primary data to evaluate the environmental burden of LIBs.


This PhD student project is a continuation of a previous SEC project. It is divided into three work packages:
(1) mapping and analysis of LIB production
(2) LIB waste handling and material recovery
(3) a synthesis

The industrial participants represent the core of the target audience. The total project budget is 6.59 MSEK whereof 54% represents in-kind activities.

Partner organizations

  • China-Euro Vehicle Technology (CEVT) AB (Private, Sweden)
  • Stena Recycling AB (Private, Sweden)
  • Scania CV AB (Private, Sweden)
  • Volvo Group (Private, Sweden)
  • Northvolt AB (Private, Sweden)
  • Swedish Electromobility Centre (Centre, Sweden)
  • Volvo Cars (Private, Sweden)
Start date 01/07/2020
End date 30/06/2023

Page manager Published: Thu 09 Dec 2021.