REWAS 2022: Sustainable Production and Development Perspectives: Developing Responsible Production Practices and Supply Chains
Sponsored by: TMS Extraction and Processing Division, TMS: Recycling and Environmental Technologies Committee, TMS: Pyrometallurgy Committee
Program Organizers: Mertol Gokelma, Izmir Institute of Technology; Mingming Zhang; Elsa Olivetti, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Gerardo Alvear, Glencore Technology; Camille Fleuriault, Eramet Norway; Kaka Ma, Colorado State University

Tuesday 8:00 AM
March 1, 2022
Room: 211B
Location: Anaheim Convention Center

Session Chair: Adamantia Lazou, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Katrin Daehn, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


8:00 AM Introductory Comments

8:05 AM  Invited
Process Simulation and Digitization for Integrated Circularity and Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Silicon, Perovskite and Tandem Photovoltaic Systems: Neill Bartie1; Lucero Cobos-Becerra2; Magnus Fröhling3; Rutger Schlatmann2; Markus Reuter4; 1Technische Universität Braunschweig, Technical University of Munich; 2Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie; 3Technical University of Munich; 4SMS Group GmbH
    Photovoltaic (PV) systems deliver green energy and have a major role to play in energy grid decarbonization. Until their complete life cycles have become as sustainable and circular as is practicable, however, PV systems have not reached their full potential. To reliably assess the current performance of PV life cycles, and to identify future opportunities and pathways towards achieving global sustainability and circular economy goals, rigorous life cycle sustainability assessment built upon a solid foundation of granular, physics-based data is needed. We present results from such an approach, using process simulation to analyse the life cycles of Silicon, Perovskite, and Silicon-perovskite tandem PV technologies, all of which include various metallurgical production and recycling processes. We compare these life cycles in terms of resource efficiency, carbon footprint, minimum sustainable module price and levelized cost of energy, and evaluate the responses of these to changes in closed-loop recycling rate, carbon pricing, module efficiency, and PV system lifetime. Results demonstrate the value of this detailed, integrated approach and highlight the trade-offs between resource consumption, environmental impact, and cost to be optimized for sustainable circular economy.

8:35 AM  
Economics-informed Material System Modeling of the Copper Supply Chain: John Ryter1; Xinkai Fu1; Karan Bhuwalka1; Richard Roth1; Elsa Olivetti1; 1Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Material production drives an increasingly large fraction of CO2-equivalent emissions. Material efficiency strategies such as recycling serve to reduce these emissions. However, prior analyses of such strategies do not include economically induced rebound effects, overestimating the associated environmental benefits. We present a dynamic supply chain simulation model for copper through 2040 incorporating inventory-driven price evolution, dynamic material flow analysis, and life cycle assessment alongside mine-level economic evaluation of opening, closing, and capacity utilization decisions. We show that increases in recycling suppress raw material prices, driving increases in demand that limit primary production reduction and offset ~45% of the potential environmental benefits. Sufficiently small recycling increases and policy reversals were found capable of increasing mining and CO2-equivalent emissions. This model was expanded to accommodate regional variations and assess the impacts of China’s solid waste import ban and the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the need for further investment in secondary markets.

8:55 AM  
Environmental Benefits of Closing the Solar Manufacturing and Recycling Loop: Robert Flores1; Haoyang He1; Parikhit Sinha2; Garvin Heath3; Paul Leu4; Julie Schoenung1; 1University of California, Irvine; 2First Solar; 3National Renewable Energy Laboratory; 4University of Pittsburgh
    The cumulative global solar panel waste stream is projected to reach between 60 and 78 million tonnes by 2050. Steps towards developing, demonstrating, and implementing processes that recover glass, metals, and semiconductor materials from end-of-life solar panels have already been taken. However, these processes result in the downcycling of most secondary solar materials. Critically, the costs and benefits of capturing these secondary materials for use in new solar panels is unknown. This presentation reviews work that evaluates the environmental impact associated with recycling and remanufacturing of end-of-life cadmium-telluride panel materials for use in next generation solar. This work also addresses the potential impact of recovering panel components for reuse in future panels. The results demonstrate the environmental benefit of recycling and component reuse, diminishing environmental impact associated with solar panel production. Although specific to a cadmium-telluride panel, this work demonstrates the benefits of working towards closed-loop solar panel production.

9:15 AM  
Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment of Repair through Wire and Arc Additive Manufacturing: Emanuele Pagone1; Joachim Antonissen2; Filomeno Martina3; 1Cranfield University; 2Guaranteed BV; 3WAAM3D
    Extending the useful life of a product through repair can significantly reduce the environmental impact associated with its production and it can be less resource intensive than other environmentally-virtuous practices like recycling. Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) appears to be a promising approach in this context, being characterized by high-resource efficiency, flexibility to perform repairs and having recently gained industrial maturity. In this work, a methodology to assess the life cycle environmental sustainability of repaired products through WAAM will be presented with a real-world, industrial case study.

9:35 AM Break

9:55 AM  
Brass Jewelry: A Sustainability Assessment: Christopher Glaubensklee1; Annalise Kramer1; Amir Saeidi1; Haoyang He1; Julie Schoenung1; 1University of California, Irvine
    .In fashion jewelry, brass alloys are a common material used because of their cost-effectiveness, mechanical behavior, and optical properties. Unfortunately, there is a lack of stringent regulation enforcement in the jewelry industry regarding brass alloy compositions. While the European Union and California regulatory bodies have created restricted substance lists, compliance is incomplete. Thus, some brass alloys contain metallic elements that present toxicity and hazard to workers, consumers and at end-of-life. In this study, GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals and ©Thermo-Calc Software were utilized, respectively, to evaluate and identify the toxicity hazards of alloying elements, and the role of these alloying elements on phase stability and performance. Additionally, market price and mine production data were analyzed to evaluate supply chain issues. This integrated evaluation of policy, toxicity, resource availability, and performance provides guidance for sustainable selection of alloy compositions that promote safety for workers, consumers and the environment.

10:15 AM  
The UK Transforming the Foundation Industries Research and Innovation Hub (TransFIRe): Mark Jolly1; Anne Velenturf2; Konstantinos Salonitis1; Sanjooram Paddea1; 1Cranfield University; 2University of Leeds
    TransFIRe (Transforming Foundation Industries Research and Innovation hub) was developed in response to the UK Government Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund call to transform the Foundation Industries: Chemicals, Cement, Ceramics, Glass, Metals and Paper. These industries produce 75% of all materials in the UK economy and are vital for the UK’s manufacturing and construction industries. Together, the Foundation Industries are worth £52 B to the UK economy and produce 28 Mt of materials per year, accounting for about 10% of the UK total CO2 emissions. TransFIRe is a consortium of 20 investigators from 12 institutions, 50 companies and 14 NGO and government organisations related to the sectors, with expertise across the FIs as well as energy mapping, life cycle and sustainability, industrial symbiosis, computer science, AI and digital manufacturing, management, social science and technology transfer. This paper will present the 3 initial workstreams identified, research methodologies and any results to date.

10:35 AM  
The REMADE Institute: R&D to Accelerate the Transition to a Circular Economy: Edward Daniels1; 1REMADE Institute
    The REMADE Institute invests in research and development to develop technology solutions to enable the increased remanufacturing and recycling of metals, polymers, fibers and e-waste. Increasing the recycling and remanufacturing of these materials can significantly contribute to an increase in energy efficiency, an increase in materials use efficiency and a reduction of GHG emissions in the domestic manufacturing sector. The current R&D portfolio of REMADE is structured across five activities including 1) Systems Analysis and Integration, Manufacturing Materials Optimization, Design for Re-X, Remanufacturing and End-of-Life Reuse, and Recovery and Recycling. This talk will outline the mission of the Institute, provide an overview of the structure and approach in developing the R&D portfolio, describe the institutional network represented by the more than 100 members of the Institute, and describe a few of the projects and their beneficial energy, materials and environmental impacts from our broad R&D portfolio.

10:55 AM  
Chemical Hazard Assessment of Electrolyte Compounds for Lithium-ion Batteries: Branden Schwaebe1; Haoyang He1; Christopher Glaubensklee1; Julie Schoenung1; 1University of California, Irvine
    To mitigate the use of high-risk electrolyte chemicals in lithium-ion batteries, it is necessary to perform chemical hazard assessments analyzing the environmental and human health hazards of electrolyte chemicals. In recent years, substantial research efforts have focused on advancing the safety of lithium-ion batteries. While there have been significant advancements in the field of electrode materials, the electrolyte component, which comprises most of the associated hazards of lithium-ion batteries, has seen little change since its inception. Using GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals criteria, we performed a chemical hazard assessment on 96 electrolyte chemicals to determine their impact on human health and the environment. Both experimental and predictive toxicity data sources were utilized for data retrieval. Furthermore, the impacts are compared by chemical class, pointing out the most toxic components of the electrolyte solution with the purpose of providing guidance as to where safer alternatives should be explored in future research.

11:15 AM  
Lithium Ion and Flow Batteries for Energy Storage: A Chemical Hazard Assessment: Haoyang He1; Shan Tian1; Chris Glaubensklee1; Brian Tarroja1; Scott Samuelsen1; Oladele Ogunseitan1; Julie Schoenung1; 1University of California Irvine
    The increasing demand for renewable resources in the electric grid requires the deployment of energy storage systems. Flow batteries and lithium-ion batteries, which are advanced energy storage technologies suitable for stationary applications, are undergoing rapid development to mitigate the adverse environmental impact of conventional, non-renewable energy resources. However, the inherent chemical toxicity associated with the battery production is not well recognized, and safer alternative materials must be identified. In this study, we perform a chemical hazard assessment, based on comprehensive battery production data, to evaluate the human health and environmental impacts of the primary materials that make up key battery components including electrodes and electrolytes, but also the intermediate processing materials needed for battery manufacturing. In total, six battery technologies with different chemistry combinations are investigated, and the relative performance of those batteries are compared. The results identify materials of high toxicity concern and specific hazard endpoints.