Unrivalled recycling rates ensure lead batteries have surprisingly low environmental footprint
Mainz, Germany, 29th January 2018.
The use of lead batteries in advanced hybrid and electric vehicles is likely to contribute significantly to carbon footprint reduction, according to Alistair Davidson of the International Lead Association. Speaking at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference in Mainz, Germany today, Dr Davidson, Director of Products and Sustainability at ILA, explained that life cycle assessment of use of lead batteries gave a doubled benefit to the environment in terms of 99% collection and recycling rate, coupled with reduced automobile emissions from technologies such as start-stop and micro-hybrid applications. Start-stop and micro-hybrids account for more than 80% of cars operating in Europe, virtually all of which utilise a lead battery. These applications have been shown to reduce CO2 emission by up to 10%. In addition, work of the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) has demonstrated that advanced designs of lead batteries such as 48V applications can deliver savings of up to 16%. Work carried out by Linda Gaines for the US Argonne National Laboratory has already shown that lead batteries have the lowest environmental impact during manufacture of all battery chemistries, said Davidson (publication Sullivan & Gaines 2010). This coming year, the International Lead Association will be carrying out further assessments which will be published in 2019. “The combination of lead batteries having a significantly higher recycling rate than other battery technologies, a less energy-demanding manufacturing process and being widely used in start-stop and micro-hybrids means they have a much lower environmental footprint than many imagine” said Dr Davidson. “We expect the work we are currently conducting to highlight this fact.”
The Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium is an international research co-operative comprised of lead producers, battery manufacturers, equipment suppliers, application developers, and research facilities organized to enhance the performance of lead batteries for a variety of markets, including hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) applications. A program of the International Lead Association, ALABC pools the resources of its global membership in order to perform specific research on advanced lead batteries that otherwise would not be possible by any single entity. For more information about the ALABC, visit www.alabc.org
International Lead Association (ILA)
ILA is the trusted and authoritative global trade association for the lead industry. Its member companies are at the forefront of lead mining, smelting and recycling and through ILA are working towards a vision of a sustainable global lead industry that is recognised for the positive contribution it makes to society. www.ila-lead.org