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Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU


  • Ana Mariele Domingues - Department of Production Engineering, Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Brazil
  • Ricardo Gabbay de Souza - Institute of Science and Technology, Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Brazil - Department of Production Engineering, Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Brazil
  • Aldo Roberto Ometto - Sao Carlos School of Engineering, Department of Production Engineering, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Sandro Donnini Mancini - Institute of Science and Technology, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Brazil
  • Flavia Carla dos Santos Martins Padoan - Center for Information Technology Renato Archer (CTI), Brazil
  • Jose Rocha Andrade da Silva - Center for Information Technology Renato Archer (CTI), Brazil

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Recycling lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) is a solution to minimise the environmental problems caused by the consumption of natural resources and the generation of hazardous waste. This paper aims to assess the potential environmental impacts and benefits of four scenarios for recycling LIBs from smartphones and laptops using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The methodological approach followed four steps: i) scenario modelling representing the current and future situations of LIBs End-of-Life (EoL) management from smartphones and laptops; ii) estimating smartphones, laptops and respective LIBs waste generation; iii) mapping representative recycling options; and iv) assessment of potential environmental impacts using LCA with 16 ILCD midpoint categories. The results revealed that hydrometallurgical recycling in Brazil could be less harmful than pyrohydrometallurgical recycling in Europe in 12 impact categories. The benefits of recycling are mainly of Co and Ni recovery. Results of scenarios indicate that the more optimistic scenario, which includes expanding Reverse Logistics to 50% of collection, internal recycling to 75%, and reducing of LIBs waste sent to landfills in 44%, had the best environmental performance in all 13 impacts categories. For the Climate change category, scenario 4 presents net environmental benefits of -1.83E+05 kgCO2eq while scenarios 1, 2 and 3 do not present a net environmental benefit. Scenarios assessment shows that more significant environmental benefits are achieved when the formal collection rate is increased, and the less impactful technology option makes the recovery of materials. These results can help decision-makers promote the management and recycling more sustainable of LIBs waste.


Editorial History

  • Received: 07 Sep 2023
  • Revised: 10 Dec 2023
  • Accepted: 18 Dec 2023
  • Available online: 31 Dec 2023


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