Authors
Sha Chen, Zhenyue Lian, Sumei Li, Junbeum Kim, Yipei Li, Lei Cao and Zunwen Liu,
Title
The Environmental Burdens of Lead-Acid Batteries in China: Insights from an Integrated Material Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment of Lead
In
Energies
Volume
10(12)
Issue
1969
Publisher
MDPI
Year
2017
Publisher's URL
doi:10.3390/en10121969
Indexed by
Abstract
Lead-acid batteries (LABs), a widely used energy storage equipment in cars and electric vehicles, are becoming serious problems due to their high environmental impact. In this study, an integrated method, combining material flow analysis with life cycle assessment, was developed to analyze the environmental emissions and burdens of lead in LABs. The environmental burdens from other materials in LABs were not included. The results indicated that the amount of primary lead used in LABs accounted for 77% of the total lead production in 2014 in China. The amount of discharged lead into the environment was 8.54 × 105 tonnes, which was mainly from raw material extraction (57.2%). The largest environmental burden was from the raw materials extraction and processing, which accounted for 81.7% of the total environmental burdens. The environmental burdens of the environmental toxicity potential, human toxicity potential-cancer, human toxicity potential-non-cancer, water footprint and land use accounted for more than 90% at this stage. Moreover, the environmental burdens from primary lead was much more serious than regenerated lead. On the basis of the results, main practical measures and policies were proposed to reduce the lead emissions and environmental burdens of LABs in China, namely establishing an effective LABs recycling system, enlarging the market share of the legal regenerated lead, regulating the production of regenerated lead, and avoiding the long-distance transportation of the waste LABs
Affiliations
Offprint