ITAS 09-21 Master Thesis: Life Cycle Assessment of current and future Aluminium production chains for reactive metal storage solutions (AluStore)
Abschlussarbeiten (Bachelor- und Masterarbeiten)
Energy storage technologies are an important element of the future European decarbonised energy system. Reactive metals such as Na, Mg and Al can be easily produced (or regenerated) by electrolysis using renewable sources (Power-to-X). The AluStore project investigates the use of Aluminium as reactive metal energy carrier through electrochemical energy conversion. The project aims to scrutinize and experimentally demonstrate the utilization of Aluminium as a cathode material in a mechanically rechargeable battery for seasonal energy storage. However, state of the art aluminium production (in particular the Hall-Héroult process) is an energy intensive process and uses carbon anodes for the electrolytic reduction process which yields corresponding direct and indirect emissions. In fact, the carbon-based electrodes used for the Hall-Héroult process react with the molten cryolite-based electrolyte solution leading to the emission of e.g. perfluorocarbons (PFCs). Thus, a solution to lower the emission from this process may be the implementation of emerging inert anodes and the use of electricity from renewable sources. The goal of the master thesis is to analyse in detail the potential environmental impacts of Al production and recycling by the use of life cycle assessment (LCA).