A Perspective on the Sustainability of Cathode Materials used in Lithium-Ion Batteries

Murdock, Beth and Toghill, Kathryn and Tapia-Ruiz, Nuria (2021) A Perspective on the Sustainability of Cathode Materials used in Lithium-Ion Batteries. Advanced Energy Materials, 11 (39): 2102028. ISSN 1614-6832

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Electric vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries are viewed as a vital green technology required to meet CO2 emission targets as part of a global effort to tackle climate change. Positive electrode (cathode) materials within such batteries are rich in critical metals—particularly lithium, cobalt, and nickel. The large-scale mining of such metals, to meet increasing battery demands, poses concerns surrounding material exhaustion in addition to further environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. In particular, unethical mining practices and political instability within the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the world's largest cobalt producer) have prompted research into cobalt-low and cobalt-free alternatives. This review aims to provide a holistic view of lithium-ion cathode development and inform advancements by highlighting the interdependencies across mining, material development, and end-of-life management. While material sustainability is reported through supply and demand projections, the potential socioenvironmental impacts of lithium-ion battery technology represent a hugely underresearched area among the aforementioned themes. Notably, the lack of attention paid toward future implications of increased nickel use across material management and development disciplines is also discussed.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Advanced Energy Materials
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:Murdock, B. E., Toghill, K. E., Tapia-Ruiz, N., A Perspective on the Sustainability of Cathode Materials used in Lithium-Ion Batteries. Adv. Energy Mater. 2021, 11, 2102028. doi: 10.1002/aenm.202102028 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/aenm.202102028 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? cathodesend-of-lifelithium-ion batteriesmaterial managementsustainabilityrenewable energy, sustainability and the environmentmaterials science(all) ??
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Deposited On:
07 Oct 2021 12:35
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2023 00:47