“Blood Batteries”? Social Life Cycle Impacts of Lithium Ion Batteries
Research Project, 2020 – 2023

This project will use social life cycle assessment (social LCA) to investigate if lithium ion batteries (LIBs) deserve to be called “blood batteries”. Health impacts and other social impacts (e.g. poverty and forced labor) along the life cycle of LIBs will be quantified, including accidents during small-scale cobalt mining, conflicts related to cobalt mining, toxic emissions and other occupational accidents along the life cycle, as well as positive social impacts. These include, for example, the avoidance of emissions during the use phase of LIBs and the provision of income to poor workers. The influence of ongoing technological developments, such as reduced cobalt content in LIBs and industrialization of the cobalt industry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will also be taken into account. The research will be conducted by a team of LCA researchers world leading in social LCA as well as LCA of batteries and electric vehicles.


Rickard Arvidsson (contact)

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Anders Nordelöf

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis


Swedish Energy Agency

Project ID: 2019-026448
Funding Chalmers participation during 2020–2023

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces


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