Roskill White Paper: Sustainability of energy and emissions for lithium production

In the transition towards a more sustainable lower-carbon future, reducing the CO2 intensity of the lithium supply chain is crucial with demand set to soar over the next decade. In recent years, the lithium sector has been dogged by allegations of excessive water use, chemical contamination incidents and poor relationships with local indigenous groups. However, as an industry, perhaps one of the most concerning aspects is the CO2 intensive nature of its supply chain, particularly from hard rock sources.

To provide insight and transparency, Roskill has developed its own in-house analysis to determine energy consumption and emissions output of the supply chain from mineral and brine extraction through to production of refined lithium. Using this, Roskill has calculated that CO2 emissions from lithium production are set to triple by 2025 and grow by a factor of six to 2030 versus current levels.

Forecast CO2 emissions from the lithium supply chain, 2020-2030

This analysis, and more, can be found in Roskill’s latest White Paper. The paper provides:

  • Energy consumption and scope 1 & 2 CO2 emissions output of lithium supply from mine to refined production
  • Energy and CO2 intensity curves for the industry in 2020, measured on an operation by operation basis
  • Energy and emissions intensities for both the mineral and brine production chains broken out by fuel use and production stage, determining how these factors contribute to an operation’s overall emissions profile.

The complete Roskill White Paper is available to Roskill clients only. To find out more on becoming a client, or to discuss the products and services that Roskill offers, please contact us. If you are a Roskill client and have not received the complete version of this White Paper, please get in touch with the team here.

Roskill’s NEW Lithium Sustainability Monitor is designed to provide clients with an in-depth understanding of lithium supply chain sustainability and its crucial role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. For more information, click here.


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This article was written by Dominic Wells. Please get in touch below if you wish to discuss further:

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