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Life cycle assessemnets and what they have wrong

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Dan5, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

    Oct 13, 2011
    Delran, NJ
    I plan to publish a paper and want to run this by the Tesla enviromentally minded folks first.

    Currently LCAs if using virgin materials attribute all the mining/refining/ and other stuff to one end product.

    This is not technically true and is a failure in life cycle assessements.

    Consider copper
    We have the mine/refine/melt/form/delivery/use
    but once that product is done, now it moves onto the next product, and that product uses "recycled" copper which uses alot less energy and resources

    What I propose is 100 years/(product life cycle)= number of products

    (virgin + (number of products-1) * recycling energy)/ number of products


    same premise, but the mine/concentrate is taken out for subsequent batteries and the refine.

    Also with the batteries one must also consider the end of life uses as back-up power

    So for the battery it would be:
    cycle life as an EV battery/ Cycle life as an EV battery + cycle life as a back-up battery= % as an EV battery

    Then a similar formula as before, but multiplied by % as an EV battery to get the impact per product of EV.

    What do you think? More accurate and more realistic
  2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    I don't think you can do that.
    The question is whether you use virgin material.
    If you do, you get the virgin energy cost.
    If you don't you get the recycled energy cost.
  3. EVNow

    EVNow Active Member

    Sep 5, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    Well, it is not a bad idea. Essentially you would get a "blended" rate than pure first use rate.
  4. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

    Oct 13, 2011
    Delran, NJ
    Thats is exactly what i am saying. Virgin materials get blended, but once you enter the the supply chain, subsequent, next gen cars or other materials are using all recycled materials.

    Currently, if you develop a new tech and have the oppurtunity to use a different raw material that has to be mined, you are unfairly being penalized.

    The problem is that if the new material enters the chain, the first iteration gets charged the most for it, which is not appropriate.

    Imagine if you made a new penny, then 20 years later melted down that penny and made a new penny, so on and so forth for 100 yrs.
    It is that first penny or should the copper impact be spread out over that 6 cents or just that one cent?

    I think it should be spread out over all 6 since without the first you dont get the 2nd.
  5. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    NE Tennessee
    I would love to see what you come up with as there seems to be a LOT of wrong and misinformation. One study i just read showed EV take much more energy to manufacture and struggle to see that that is true.

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