La sostenibilidad debe formar parte de la estrategia de las empresas. Tener conocimientos sobre la operativa y cómo aplicar criterios de sostenibilidad será imprescindible para cumplir las nuevas regulaciones europeas.
Researchers of the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF, together with Universidad de Málaga, have written a paper for Elsevier’s Science of The Total Environment journal about life cycle assessment on calcium zincate production methods for rechargeable batteries. The Swiss and French industrial enterprises DEASYL and EasylZinc have also contributed to the article’s elaboration.
Calcium Zincate (CAZN) is a material used in rechargeable zinc-based batteries and other products, such as catalysts and antifungal agents. Researchers have developed a new method for synthesizing CAZN, called the hydro-micro-mechanical process (HMMS), which has a shorter residence time and more reaction surface area than traditional methods, and results in faster battery activation.
According to a life cycle assessment, HMMS produces CAZN with a significantly lower environmental impact compared to the current best option, hydro-thermal synthesis (HTS), with a 97% reduction in global warming. The sensitivity analysis included scenarios related to the energy demand of the processes and projections for the European electricity mix in 2030 and 2050.
Some of the paper’s main conclusions are that the raw materials shape the environmental results of CAZN production, particle size and reaction time are key factors affecting the results of life cycle assessment, and, lately, the reaction time should be considered when calculating chemical LCAs.
Sergi Arfelis, the researcher at the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change of ESCI-UPF, was in Egypt from the 10th to the 18th of November as a COP27 observer. In this article, he warns about solving global warming as a zero-sum game, with one eye on the common good and the other on one's good.