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An Environmental and Economic Analysis of The Near Future of Lithium Ion Batteries

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Lithium ion batteries are quintessential components of modern life. They are used to power smart devices — phones, tablets, laptops, and are rapidly becoming major elements in the automotive industry. Demand projections for lithium are skyrocketing with production struggling to

Lithium ion batteries are quintessential components of modern life. They are used to power smart devices — phones, tablets, laptops, and are rapidly becoming major elements in the automotive industry. Demand projections for lithium are skyrocketing with production struggling to keep up pace. This drive is due mostly to the rapid adoption of electric vehicles; sales of electric vehicles in 2020 are more than double what they were only a year prior. With such staggering growth it is important to understand how lithium is sourced and what that means for the environment. Will production even be capable of meeting the demand as more industries make use of this valuable element? How will the environmental impact of lithium affect growth? This thesis attempts to answer these questions as the world looks to a decade of rapid growth for lithium ion batteries.

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2021-05

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EV battery performance in the desert area and development of a new drive cycle for Arizona

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Commercial Li-ion cells (18650: Li4Ti5O12 anodes and LiCoO2 cathodes) were subjected to simulated Electric Vehicle (EV) conditions using various driving patterns such as aggressive driving, highway driving, air conditioning load, and normal city driving. The particular drive schedules originated from

Commercial Li-ion cells (18650: Li4Ti5O12 anodes and LiCoO2 cathodes) were subjected to simulated Electric Vehicle (EV) conditions using various driving patterns such as aggressive driving, highway driving, air conditioning load, and normal city driving. The particular drive schedules originated from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), including the SC-03, UDDS, HWFET, US-06 drive schedules, respectively. These drive schedules have been combined into a custom drive cycle, named the AZ-01 drive schedule, designed to simulate a typical commute in the state of Arizona. The battery cell cycling is conducted at various temperature settings (0, 25, 40, and 50 °C). At 50 °C, under the AZ-01 drive schedule, a severe inflammation was observed in the cells that led to cell failure. Capacity fading under AZ-01 drive schedule at 0 °C per 100 cycles is found to be 2%. At 40 °C, 3% capacity fading is observed per 100 cycles under the AZ-01 drive schedule. Modeling and prediction of discharge rate capability of batteries is done using Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). High-frequency resistance values (HFR) increased with cycling under the AZ-01 drive schedule at 40 °C and 0 °C. The research goal for this thesis is to provide performance analysis and life cycle data for Li4Ti5O12 (Lithium Titanite) battery cells in simulated Arizona conditions. Future work involves an evaluation of second-life opportunities for cells that have met end-of-life criteria in EV applications.

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2018