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Life-cycle assessment of hydrogen technologies with the focus on EU critical raw materials and end-of-life strategies
Lotrič, Andrej (Author), Sekavčnik, Mihael (Author), Kuštrin, Igor (Author), Mori, Mitja (Author)

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Abstract
We present the results of a life-cycle assessment (LCA) for the manufacturing and end-oflife (EoL) phases of the following fuel-cell and hydrogen (FCH) technologies: alkaline water electrolyser (AWE), polymer-electrolyte-membrane water electrolyser (PEMWE), hightemperature (HT) and low-temperature (LT) polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), together with the balance-of-plant components. New life-cycle inventories (LCIs), i.e., material inputs for the AWE, PEMWE and HT PEMFC are developed, whereas the existing LCI for the LT PEMFC is adopted from a previous EU-funded project. The LCA models for all four FCH technologies are created by modelling the manufacturing phase, followed by defining the EoL strategies and processes used and finally by assessing the effects of the EoL approach using environmental indicators. The effects are analysed with a stepwise approach, where the CML2001 assessment method is used to evaluate the environmental impacts. The results show that the environmental impacts of the manufacturing phase can be substantially reduced by using the proposed EoL strategies (i.e., recycled materials being used in the manufacturing phase and replacing some of the virgin materials). To point out the importance of critical materials (in this case, the platinum-group metals or PGMs) and their recycling strategies, further analyses were made. By comparing the EoL phase with and without the recycling of PGMs, an increase in the environmental impacts is observed, which is much greater in the case of both fuel-cell systems, because they contain a larger quantity of PGMs.

Language:English
Keywords:life-cycle assessment, end of life, critical materials, electrolysers, fuel cells, waste management
Work type:Article (dk_c)
Tipology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:FS - Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Year:2021
Number of pages:Str. 10143-10160
Numbering:Vol. 46, iss. 16
UDC:621.352.6(045)
ISSN on article:0360-3199
DOI:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2020.06.190 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:25340419 This link opens in a new window
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Downloads:90
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:International journal of hydrogen energy
Shortened title:Int. j. hydrogen energy
Publisher:Elsevier, International Association for Hydrogen Energy
ISSN:0360-3199
COBISS.SI-ID:3338511 This link opens in a new window

Document is financed by a project

Funder:EC - European Commission
Funding Programme:H2020
Project no.:700190
Name:New technologies and strategies for fuel cells and hydrogen technologies in the phase of recycling and dismantling
Acronym:HYTECHCYCLING

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Project no.:P2-0401
Name:Energetsko strojništvo

Licences

License:CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Link:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Description:The most restrictive Creative Commons license. This only allows people to download and share the work for no commercial gain and for no other purposes.
Licensing start date:07.08.2020

Secondary language

Language:Slovenian
Keywords:študija življenjskih ciklov, zaključek življenjske dobe, kritični materiali, elektrolizerji, gorivne celice, ravnanje z odpadki

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