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Carbon footprint study of aluminium in battery cells
Life cycle analysis (LCA)

Aluminium is generally regarded as a green material based on its recyclability, light weight, good conductivity, barrier properties, etc. However, production of primary aluminium is energy intensive due to aluminium’ s strong affinity to oxygen and the process required to split aluminium from said oxygen.
Re-melting of aluminium requires only 5 % of the energy compared to primary aluminium production. To minimize the carbon footprint of aluminium to be re-melted a good sorting of different aluminium alloys is required. Furthermore, ongoing initiatives to recycle materials from end of life batteries yield new opportunities for circularity of aluminium, thus supporting new suggested European battery regulations. The choice of raw material will have a fundamental impact on the carbon footprint for an aluminium product.
Determining the carbon footprint of aluminium for battery cell manufacturing requires a set of allocation principles to be put in place. It also requires a set of choices to me made regarding data and data sources to be used. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), as a method to assess the environmental impacts of products in a life cycle perspective, has been around for many years. Carbon footprint for an aluminium product (which can be expressed as tonnes CO2 equivalents generated per tonne aluminium produced) can be presented according to several different standards. The ISO 14025 is an extension of the standards for life cycle assessment (ISO 14040/14044).
This carbon footprint study is based on the premises set forth in this standard and a ‘cradle to gate’ approach, which means that all carbon generation from mining up to delivery out of Gränges’ premises is included.
This paper introduces the concepts of carbon footprint calculations for aluminium used in battery cell manufacturing and presents the outcome of these calculations in different scenarios for aluminium cathode foil and battery casing, including the effect of closed loop recycling opportunities.

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