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Study finds nanoparticle NMC material used in Li-ion batteries harms key soil bacterium

Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:27 pm

Via GCC: ... 4-nmc.html

Nanoparticle nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC), an emerging material that is being rapidly incorporated into lithium-ion battery cathodes, has been shown to impair Shewanella oneidensis, a key soil bacterium, according to new research published in the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials. . . .

A single, modest electric vehicle with a typical ~24 kWh battery pack using NMC (specific capacity = 165 mAh/g at 3.8 V potential) contains >38 kg of nanoscale cathode material. With estimates of 20 million electric vehicles on the road by the year 2020, nanoscale metal oxides represent an emerging potential environmental contaminant. . . .

Haynes noted that “it is not reasonable to generalize the results from one bacterial strain to an entire ecosystem, but this may be the first ‘red flag’ that leads us to consider this more broadly. . . .”
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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Re: Study finds nanoparticle NMC material used in Li-ion batteries harms key soil bacterium

Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:39 am

Copper is also a strong antibacterial agent and electric vehicles contain large quantities of that, also. But there are two main differences: copper is widely recycled and copper is not typically used in nanoscale materials in BEVs (to my knowledge). Nanoscale materials tend to be worrisome since they often are more bio-interactive than macro-scale materials.

One thing is clear: If we do not learn to recycle the batteries in BEVs, then the benefit that the vehicles can be fueled by renewable energy is lost to the fact that we need to continuously mine new raw materials to build new batteries. In addition to the damage caused by the mining operations, we will continue to pollute the environment with the waste of discarded batteries. Improving the longevity of the batteries will help some. but it is not a substitute for recycling.

This is one reason why the dual-carbon battery from Power Japan Plus appeals to me. Unfortunately, the new website appears to only reference "hybrid cars" and does not refer to BEVs. However, reading the website does not give a clue as to why this might be. They claim to have have slightly-lower cathode capacity, but operate at 5V and are not damaged by deep discharge, which should compensate for the difference. They also indicate that they have no cost disadvantage. Perhaps they simply want to pursue applications which require smaller batteries first.
2011 Leaf SL Demo vehicle
10K miles: Apr 14, 2013, 20K miles (55.7Ah): Aug 7, 2014, 30K miles (52.0Ah): Dec 30, 2015, 40K miles (49.8Ah): Feb 8, 2017, 50K miles (47.2Ah): Dec 7, 2017.
Enphase Inverter Measured MTBF: M190, M215, M250, S280

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