A transition from fossil to renewable energy requires the development of sustainable electric energy storage systems capable to accommodate an increasing amount of energy, at larger power and for a longer time. Flow batteries are seen as one promising technology to face this challenge. As different innovations in this field of technology are still under development, reproducible, comparable and verifiable life cycle assessment studies are crucial to providing clear evidence on the sustainability of different flow battery systems. Based on a review of 20 relevant life cycle assessment studies for different flow battery systems, published between 1999 and 2021, this contribution explored relevant methodological choices regarding the sequence of phases defined in the ISO 14,040 series: goal and scope definition, inventory analysis, impact assessment and interpretation. Inspired by good practice examples, common gaps and weaknesses were identified and recommendations for comparative life cycle assessment studies were derived. This includes suggestions for an expanded functional unit definition, a provision of more detailed and transparent reporting of LCI data while using input/output tables. Outcomes of this study are also of relevance for the amendment of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC, where first drafts are under revision in the European Council, including the introduction of a battery passport, which should encourage battery producers to reduce their carbon footprint and avoid problematic materials.

Life cycle assessment (LCA) for flow batteries: A review of methodological decisions

Bischi, A
2022-01-01

Abstract

A transition from fossil to renewable energy requires the development of sustainable electric energy storage systems capable to accommodate an increasing amount of energy, at larger power and for a longer time. Flow batteries are seen as one promising technology to face this challenge. As different innovations in this field of technology are still under development, reproducible, comparable and verifiable life cycle assessment studies are crucial to providing clear evidence on the sustainability of different flow battery systems. Based on a review of 20 relevant life cycle assessment studies for different flow battery systems, published between 1999 and 2021, this contribution explored relevant methodological choices regarding the sequence of phases defined in the ISO 14,040 series: goal and scope definition, inventory analysis, impact assessment and interpretation. Inspired by good practice examples, common gaps and weaknesses were identified and recommendations for comparative life cycle assessment studies were derived. This includes suggestions for an expanded functional unit definition, a provision of more detailed and transparent reporting of LCI data while using input/output tables. Outcomes of this study are also of relevance for the amendment of the Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC, where first drafts are under revision in the European Council, including the introduction of a battery passport, which should encourage battery producers to reduce their carbon footprint and avoid problematic materials.
2022
Dieterle, M; Fischer, P; Pons, Mn; Blume, N; Minke, C; Bischi, A
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1153121
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