Nanotechnology for environmentally sustainable electromobility
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNature Nanotechnology. 2016, 11, 1039-1051. 10.1038/nnano.2016.237
Electric vehicles (EVs) powered by lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) or proton exchange membrane hydrogen fuel cells (PEMFCs) offer important potential climate change mitigation effects when combined with clean energy sources. The development of novel nanomaterials may bring about the next wave of technical improvements for LIBs and PEMFCs. If the next generation of EVs is to lead to not only reduced emissions during use but also environmentally sustainable production chains, the research on nanomaterials for LIBs and PEMFCs should be guided by a life-cycle perspective. In this Analysis, we describe an environmental life-cycle screening framework tailored to assess nanomaterials for electromobility. By applying this framework, we offer an early evaluation of the most promising nanomaterials for LIBs and PEMFCs and their potential contributions to the environmental sustainability of EV life cycles. Potential environmental trade-offs and gaps in nanomaterials research are identified to provide guidance for future nanomaterial developments for electromobility.