Indian graphite anode producer Epsilon Advanced Materials (EAM) has chosen British Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) consultancy Minviro to assess the environmental footprint of EAM's graphite-based active anode materials production.
EAM said Minviro will both build an LCA model for the anode materials production and write up a report that together will form a ‘cradle-to-gate' study on its existing projects, as well as a proposed expansion project.
The LCA will assess the life cycle impact of the product from the point of mesocoke precursor production to the production of final products. It will study the environmental performance of producing Epsilon Advanced Materials' mesocoke powder, mesocoke granules and graphite based active anode materials products.
Epsilon's mesophase coke is an anode material precursor that is derived from coal tar-based raw materials, according to the company's website.
The company's process uses coal-based raw materials, which it subjects to well-designed temporal thermal gradients to generate bulk carbonaceous Mesophase.
EAM admitted in its statement that "producing graphite based active anode materials for lithium-ion batteries is energy intensive", adding that existing graphite supply chains often locate energy-demanding process stages in regions with low-cost energy.
"LCA is a scientific and robust approach to quantifying environmental impacts of a product or service, to show the quantifiable impact of producing critical metals and minerals. It can also be used to identify impact mitigation opportunities for production chains, making it a critical step when developing projects."
Minviro warned last July that the global warming potential (GWP) for the existing graphite anode supply chain is much higher than previously published.
Minviro said that as demand for graphite increases, it is critical that LCA is applied at the development stage of new projects and production routes for both natural and synthetic anode-grade graphite to ensure that all opportunities to impact mitigation are explored.