Lithium-ion batteries have a forever chemical problem

Research links lithium-ion batteries to PFAS pollution, calling for environmental risk assessments.

: New research indicates lithium-ion batteries may contribute to PFAS pollution. This calls for environmental risk assessments in clean energy applications. Researchers found significant levels of PFAS near manufacturing and landfill sites.

New research has found that lithium-ion batteries, used in everyday gadgets and electric vehicles, could be contributing to the pollution of soil and waterways with 'forever chemicals' known as PFAS. This study was published in Nature Communications and highlights the presence of bis-perfluoroalkyl sulfonimides (bis-FASIs) in various environmental samples near manufacturing facilities and landfills.

The team, including Jennifer Guelfo from Texas Tech University and P. Lee Ferguson from Duke University, emphasizes that this finding is not an attack on clean energy. Instead, they call for environmental risk assessments to be integrated into clean energy and consumer electronics developments, stressing the importance of addressing potential environmental impacts from the start.

The study tested water, sediment, and soil samples from several locations and found bis-FASIs in most areas studied. Additionally, the research revealed that only about 5 percent of lithium-ion batteries are recycled, potentially increasing contamination risks as demand for these batteries grows.