Given the growing importance of graphite in energy storage technologies, a team of Northwestern researchers has conducted a study exploring ways to reduce reliance on imports of the in high-demand mineral, which powers everything from electric vehicles (EVs) to cell phones.
The paper, which published last week (Feb. 15) in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, is the first natural and synthetic graphite material flow analysis for the U.S., and considers 11 end-use applications for graphite, two waste management stages and three recycling pathways.
“If we want to produce more batteries domestically, we’re going to need to increase our production of graphite,” said Northwestern University chemical engineer Jennifer Dunn. “But the question is, how can we do so in a way that contributes to decarbonization goals?”
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