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Towards sustainable energy materials : broadening life cycle assessment for emerging technology development and resource-effective choices

Abstract : Energy materials are particularly important from a sustainability perspective for advancing renewable energy systems, including energy production and storage. Their appropriate use and development require quantitative assessment methods. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a method to support sustainable development that can be used to identify environmental hotspots and compare different technologies. The purpose of this research is to support development of several energy materials and make LCA a more relevant tool for sustainability assessment by extending its use in two emerging directions: assessment of technologies at the early stage of development, and by supporting more resource-effective choices for a circular economy.The research objectives focus on informing the development of technologies and identifying methodological challenges and opportunities by applying LCA to three energy-technology case studies, each at a different technological maturity level. In the first case study, alkaline batteries, currently at a high maturity level (incumbent products), are evaluated using LCA in combination with a circular economy indicator, the Material Circularity Indicator (MCI). The aim was to investigate opportunities to combine the two methods, while considering trade-offs between indicators for different strategies for battery design and management. In the second case study, nickel-cobalt hydroxide charge storage electrodes, currently at a low maturity level (laboratory-scale), are evaluated to investigate environmental hotspots and preferred synthesis route. In the third case study, organic photovoltaic portable chargers for small electronics, currently at a medium maturity level (pilot-scale), are evaluated for replacing conventional electricity grid for charging a mobile phone.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 12:18:23 PM
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Edis Glogic. Towards sustainable energy materials : broadening life cycle assessment for emerging technology development and resource-effective choices. Chemical Physics [physics.chem-ph]. Université de Bordeaux; University of Waterloo (Canada), 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019BORD0317⟩. ⟨tel-02869841⟩

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