Assessing the GHG Emissions and Savings during the Recycling of NMC Lithium-Ion Batteries Used in Electric Vehicles in China

Xumei Zhang, Yangyi He, Yan Wang, Wei Yan, Nachiappan Subramanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Driven by the global campaign against the dual pressures of environmental pollution and resource exhaustion, the Chinese government has proposed the target of carbon neutrality. On account of this, the increasing number of waste lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) from electric vehicles (EVs) is causing emergent waste-management challenges and it is urgent that we implement an appropriate waste-LIB recycling program, which would bring significant environmental benefits. In order to comprehensively estimate the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from waste-LIB recycling, the GHG savings also need to be taken into account. Based on the requirements of a carbon-neutral target, this study adopted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) method to established a mathematical model for measuring the GHG emissions and GHG savings of waste LIBs and a numerical experiment is presented to verify the model. The results were analyzed and are discussed as follows: (1) To achieve carbon neutrality, the resultant GHG emissions and GHG savings are equal, and the corresponding value is 706.45 kg CO2-eq/t. (2) The influence of the ratio of recovery from different collection centers on the net GHG emissions is relatively weak and the ratio of different processing strategies significantly affects the net GHG emissions. (3) There are three directions including recycling technologies, type of batteries, and environmental pollutants, that warrant investigation in the future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number342
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2022


  • GHG emissions
  • waste lithium-ion battery recycling
  • carbon-neutral target
  • electric vehicles


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