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  • Electric vehicles are becoming more and more common with each passing year, and their adoption is only expected to accelerate.

    電動汽車變得越來越普遍,而且預計其採用速度只會加快。

  • Some estimates predict a third of new vehicles sold by the year 2030 will be electric, and that poses something of a delayed problem.

    有估計預測,到 2030 年銷售的新車中,將有三分之一是電動車,這就帶來了一些早晚會遇到的問題。

  • What do we do with all the lithium ion batteries that powered those electric vehicles, once they go back?

    一旦使用完後,我們該如何處理那些為電動汽車提供動力的鋰離子電池?

  • Do we just chuck them in the landfill and make fresh ones?

    難道我們就這樣把它們扔進垃圾場,然後再做新的?

  • Or is there a way to squeeze more juice out of a used battery?

    或者有什麼辦法能讓廢舊電池榨出更多的電量?

  • There are a lot of reasons to recycle lithium ion batteries.

    回收鋰離子電池的理由有很多。

  • For starters, they use a variety of raw materials like lithium, manganese, cobalt and nickel.

    首先,他們使用各種原材料,如鋰、錳、鈷和鎳。

  • Every kilogram of raw material recovered from them is a kilogram that doesn't need to be extracted from the earth.

    從它們身上每回收一公斤原料,就有一公斤不需要從地球上開採。

  • In countries like Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

    在阿根廷、玻利維亞和智利等國,

  • Obtaining the lithium needed for the batteries cathode, uses copious amounts of water in some of the driest places on Earth.

    為了獲得電池所需的鋰陰極,在地球上一些最乾旱的地方使用了大量的水。

  • Other metals typically used in lithium ion batteries come with the usual impacts associated with mining.

    鋰離子電池中通常使用的其他金屬也會產生與採礦相關的影響。

  • But there's a terrible dark side to one medal in particular- cobalt.

    但尤其是一種金屬的黑暗面特別可怕——鈷。

  • By some estimates, more than 70% of the world's cobalt comes from one place, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    據估計,世界上 70% 以上的鈷來自一個地方,就是剛果民主共和國。

  • Anybody there can just dig it up and sell it, which has led to armed conflict, unsafe mining practices and the use of child labor.

    那裡的任何人都可以隨便挖出來賣,這導致了武裝衝突、不安全的採礦行為和使用童工。

  • Cutting back on the need for new cobalt can also reduce the human suffering mining it indirectly causes.

    減少對新的鈷的需求,也可以減少其間接造成的人類痛苦的開採。

  • Recycling batteries also keeps materials out of landfills, eliminating the chance that cobalt, nickel and manganese can contaminate the soil and groundwater.

    回收電池還可以使材料不被填埋,消除鈷、鎳和錳汙染土壤和地下水的可能性。

  • But despite these upsides, as of 2019, fewer than 5% of lithium ion batteries were recycled.

    但儘管有這些優點,截至 2019 年,只有不到 5% 的鋰離子電池被回收。

  • That's partly because lithium ion battery recycling faces the same challenges that other recycling operations face, namely being cost competitive with virgin materials.

    部分原因是鋰離子電池回收面臨與其他回收業務相同的挑戰,即與原生材料相比具有成本競爭力。

  • In all the ways extracting lithium and mining cobalt is costly.

    在所有的方式中,提取鋰和開採鈷的成本是很高的。

  • It's often still cheaper than recycling in terms of dollars and cents.

    從價格方面看,往往還是比回收便宜。

  • The issue is made even more complicated because of the nature of today's battery industry.

    由於當今電池行業的性質,這個問題變得更加複雜。

  • There's no standard for how to make a lithium ion cell.

    如何製作鋰離子電池沒有標準。

  • Cathodes can be made up of LiCoO​2, or LiNiMnCoO2, or LiNiCoAlO2, or LiFePO4.

    陰極可以由 LiCoO​2、LiNiMnCoO2、LiNiCoAlO2,或 LiFePO4 組成。

  • Because recyclers can't pick and choose which batteries come to their facilities, they often have to use one size fits all solutions.

    由於回收商無法選擇進到他們的設施的電池,他們往往不得不使用放之四海而皆準的解決方案。

  • Often that means burning the batteries.

    通常這意味著燒掉電池。

  • Smelting lithium ion batteries recovers the most expensive metals, namely cobalt and nickel, as well as copper.

    冶煉鋰離子電池可以回收最昂貴的金屬,即鈷、鎳以及銅。

  • However, lithium, aluminum and organic compounds get burned off, and recyclers have to deal with the toxic fluorine compounds the process creates.

    然而,鋰、鋁和有機化合物會被燒掉,而回收商必須處理這個過程中產生的有毒氟化合物。

  • Another common recycling method, known as chemical leaching, involves grinding up the batteries and treating them with solvents to recover the cathode medals.

    另一種常見的回收方法,稱為化學浸出法,包括研磨電池,並用溶劑處理電池,以回收陰極金屬。

  • Then there's the issue that lithium ion car batteries are not designed with recycling in mind.

    還有一個問題是,鋰離子汽車電池的設計沒有考慮到回收的問題。

  • Lead acid batteries like those in internal combustion vehicles are easily disassembled, and almost all the lead in them can be recycled.

    像使用內燃機的交通工具中的鉛酸電池很容易拆解,幾乎所有的鉛酸電池都可以回收利用。

  • But electric vehicle batteries are made of thousands of individual cells that are often glued or welded together with circuitry and sensors in between.

    但電動汽車電池是由成千上萬個獨立的電池組成的,這些電池往往是用膠水或焊接在一起的,中間還有電路和感測器。

  • Right now, electric vehicle manufacturers are more focused on performance and longevity, and the post lifecycle isn't given much attention.

    現今,電動車廠關注更多的是性能和壽命,對之後的使用週期並沒有太多的關注。

  • To make recycling easier, battery manufacturers may have to redesign their battery packs so they're more modular and easy to disassemble.

    為了使回收更容易,電池製造商可能不得不重新設計他們的電池組,使其更加模塊化和易於拆卸。

  • Despite these inherent problems, some companies are charging ahead into battery recycling.

    儘管存在這些固有的問題,但一些公司正在領導起電池回收的領域。

  • They're developing new strategies like using robots to automate, sorting, disassembling and recovery of materials.

    他們正在開發新的策略,比如使用機器人來實現材料的自動化、分類、拆解和回收。

  • Or they're experimenting with a technique called direct recovery, which keeps the cathodes crystalline structure intact and cuts down on the cost of reusing material.

    或者他們正在試驗一種叫做直接回收的技術,這種技術可以保持陰極晶體結構的完整,並削減材料重複使用的成本。

  • Even if these approaches make recycling batteries cost competitive, investing in lithium ion recycling programs could still be a risky bet.

    即使這些方法使回收電池的成本具有競爭力,投資鋰離子回收計劃仍可能是一個風險的賭注。

  • Lithium ion batteries may dominate the market now, but other technologies could take their place.

    雖然鋰離子電池目前佔據市場主導地位,但其他科技可能會取代其位置。

  • Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles could become more common or a new battery technology like the long theorized lithium air, could make current batteries obsolete.

    氫燃料電池汽車可能會變得更加普遍,或者一種新的電池技術,比如長期以來被理論化的鋰空氣,可能會使目前的電池變得過時。

  • Nobody knows what the future holds, but a few entrepreneurs and nations are seeing a veritable mountain of used batteries on the horizon, and they're determined to turn that trash into treasure.

    沒有人知道未來會發生什麼,但一些企業家和國家看到了地平線上名副其實的廢舊電池山,他們決心將這些垃圾變廢為寶。

  • Lithium-ion batteries don't just power electric cars, but phones and laptops, too.

    鋰離子電池不僅為電動汽車提供動力,也為手機和筆記本電腦提供動力。

  • To learn more about how these incredible cells actually worked and what may power the future, check out our light-speed playlist here.

    想瞭解更多關於這些令人難以置信的電池的實際運作原理以及未來可能的動力,請查看我們關於光速的播放清單。

  • Thanks so much for watching.

    非常感謝你的觀看。

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more common with each passing year, and their adoption is only expected to accelerate.

電動汽車變得越來越普遍,而且預計其採用速度只會加快。

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電動汽車的隱性環境成本 (The Hidden Environmental Costs of Electric Cars)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 04 月 22 日
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