Interview with Marius Schütte

Marius Schütte has been working at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Battery Cell Production FFB since December 2020. His job: research assistant in the area of sustainability management. In this interview, Marius explains which tasks belong to his area and what role Life Cycle Assessment plays in battery cell production.

Marius Schütte, M.Sc., research associate at Fraunhofer FFB.

What do you find the most exciting about your field of research and the work at Fraunhofer FFB?

Battery technology is characterized by a very strong innovation dynamic. As a production engineer, I am particularly interested in the transfer of new technologies from research to industrial series production, always at the cutting edge. Fraunhofer FFB is working precisely at this interface and is helping to ensure that Germany can evolve to be one of the technology leaders in the field of battery cell production in the long term. I have placed the focus of my tasks on eco-management, as the topic of sustainability is a central aspect of e-mobility and the competitiveness of German battery cell manufacturers in international competition. The impact of battery cell production on the environment can be determined by means of a life cycle assessment. Steps to minimize these effects can then be derived from this.

What does the term "Life Cycle Assessment" mean?

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a method for the holistic evaluation of the ecological environmental impact of a product or service over its entire life cycle. In the case of a battery cell, the assessment by means of an LCA covers all processes from the extraction of raw materials to the final disposal, for example by recycling the cell. This allows significant potential for improvement along the entire value chain to be identified and improvement measures to be derived.

What role does life cycle assessment play in battery cell production, especially for Fraunhofer FFB?

The production process of a battery cell is very complex and usually spans several countries or even continents. The usage phase is also difficult to model due to the individual usage behavior of consumers. Both of these factors make it difficult to carry out an LCA and call for creative and pragmatic approaches to enable a valid ecological assessment of the battery cell. Based on this, it is equally important to derive measures to ultimately be able to produce the battery cell in a more environmentally friendly and efficient manner. Making this happen is one of my major goals here at Fraunhofer FFB.