Kristina Edström

Kristina Edström

Lithium-Based Batteries for a Better Environment?  Lithium-Based Batteries for a Better Environment?

We are all experts on using batteries in our daily lives and the introduction of the Li-ion battery in the beginning of 1990 has changed our behaviour dramatically. Today, we are constantly connected and even irritated that our batteries have to be recharged too often for our consumer products to be operational.

Batteries in general are discussed as one of the environmental problems if not recycled properly. Some of the batteries we use do contain heavy metals that need to be taken care of and others are expensive due to lack of resources of some the redox-active metals.

In the prognoses for our future energy system batteries are seen to become even more important. There are several reasons for this. The use of electricity is expected to double until 2050. Batteries could then be used for increasing the quality of electricity by regulating the frequency and the potential which will protect our more and more complex and sensitive equipments.

The transportation sector is also pushing for electrification of vehicles (Electric Vehicles, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Hybrid Electric Vehicles) due to the discussions on how long we can use fossil fuels with a low price. Also the global warming and the needs for reducing the emissions of CO2 put a pressure on the vehicle manufacturers. The strong urbanisation leads to need for clean air in our cities but combustion process give emissions of NOx and particles which can be removed or reduced by the use of EVs and HEVs.

For all these future scenarios to come true low cost batteries that are energy dense, safe with a long life are needed. The question is which batteries? This presentation will discuss the family of lithium (and sodium) batteries with a whole range of materials. Li-ion batteries are the rechargeable batteries with the highest energy density of all rechargeable batteries. In commercial systems, the negative electrode consists of graphite and the positive of a cobalt-containing oxide. The electrolyte is an organic solvent with a lithium salt. The battery is operating close to 4 V but can be pressed up to almost 5V dependent on the chemical composition of the positive electrode.

There are future systems called “beyond lithium” but they are also based on lithium but here with metallic lithium as the negative electrode and sulphur or oxygen as the positive. These systems are seen as more of a safety hazard than the more conventional Li-ion batteries but can – if degradation problems can be solved – give batteries with at least double amount of energy than today’s batteries.

The benefits of the lithium-battery systems and the properties of different anode and cathode materials as well as the electrolyte will be discussed from the perspective of available natural resources and energy gain. An example of a new organic cathode material for Li-ion batteries will be shown and how parts of the material can be recycled after the battery has reached end-of-life and then be used as the foundation for the synthesis of a new batch of the organic cathode.


to the European Conference on Materials and Technologies for Sustainable Growth website.

ECo MaTech will be held in Bled (Slovenia) from 19th to 21st of September 2013.

Eco MaTech is the third edition of a conference that started in 2009. The aim of ECo MaTech is to gather representatives of academic and R&D institutions, industry, governmental agencies and civil society to:

- present their work, ideas and products, 
- increase fruitful exhanges between all the actors involved in sustainable growth technologies, 
- increase the networking with sustainable growth professionals, 
- establish a general discussion platform on sustainable growth.


The conference excursion will take you to the Alpine lake Bohinj ( and waterfall Savica (
A farewell party will follow the lake trip by a boat. Comfortable shoes are recommended.

Only cash is exepted for on-site payment.

The poster panels are 1m wide and 2m high. The standrad A0 size posters are recommended (841mm:1189mm).