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Is shifting from Li-ion NMC to LFP in EVs beneficial for second-life storages  in electricity markets?

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-16, 10:50 authored by Narjes Fallah, COLIN FITZPATRICKCOLIN FITZPATRICK

While electric vehicles are promising to reduce carbon emissions on the road, from a holistic life-cycle view,  further environmental considerations in the production and end-of-life management of their batteries are  required. Recently, circular end-of-life thinking has been promoted with strategies to increase retired batteries’  lifetime through second-life as lifetime extension is typically favoured in life cycle assessment. However, standardization of these strategies toward recycling or repurposing paths is recommended for different Li-ion  chemistries. This categorization mainly concerns the cobalt-containing cathode Li-ion batteries i.e., NMC  which is the dominant technology for transportation, and the alternative technology i.e., LFPs with a more recent  attention toward them in automobile sector due the cobalt scarcity in the supply chain. This technology shift will  impact their end-of-life management at the retirement. In this arrangement, the economic priority of repurposing  such battery chemistries needs quantification. This study evaluated the financial return of repurposing retired Li-ion NMC and LFP batteries for energy arbitrage applications in power systems. The feasibility of repurposing is  examined in the Irish and Queensland’s markets. Results show that retired Li-ion LFPs respond to price fluctuations more frequently with a higher financial return compared to NMCs; thus, they have higher potential for  repurposing as such their greater integration in new vehicles is promising from a circular economy perspective.  Different rates of return have been observed for various sizes of systems and battery durations. The financial  benefits are more prominent for a one-hour battery in a medium system compared to half and two-hour durations  and a smaller system. A sensitivity analysis shows that even spending the same capital cost as a new system for a  repurposed system results in a marginal financial return in a competitive electricity market like Queensland’s,  whereas further incentives toward circular-enabling business models from local authorities will effectively make  such investments feasible.  

Funding

Silicon Alloying Anodes for High Energy Density Batteries comprising Lithium Rich Cathodes and Safe Ionic Liquid based Electrolytes for Enhanced High VoltagE Performance.

European Commission

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History

Publication

Journal of Energy Storage 68, 107740

Publisher

Elsevier

Other Funding information

Environmental Protection Agency (Ireland) (Project Codes 2019-RE-PhD-3)

Department or School

  • Computer Science & Information Systems

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