Study: Rechargeable Batteries Cause PFAS Pollution – E&E News By POLITICO

Scientists have raised concerns about a class of chemicals that are used in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. They are concerned with how these technologies, such as electric cars, are produced and disposed.

According to a report published on Monday in the peer reviewed journal Nature Communications, bis-perfluoroalkyl sulfonimides or bis-FASIs have the same ecotoxicity and environmental persistence as some of the PFAS most notorious. Researchers found that lithium-ion battery leachate is one way these chemicals spread throughout the environment.

Bis-FASIs – a term that covers similar compounds in the family of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance – were found in soil, water and sediment samples from Minnesota, Kentucky and France. The study showed that the compounds were resistant to aggressive oxidation, just like the most persistent PFAS, like PFOA. PFOA is a widely-known environmental contaminant known to cause many types of cancer.


Jennifer Guelfo is the lead author of the study and an associate professor at Texas Tech University of environmental engineering. She said that they concentrated on bis-FASIs, because, together with other PFASs, they were detected in eleven of the seventeen lithium-ion battery samples. These batteries were from different products and manufacturers including iPhones and electric vehicles. They also came from laptops, tablets, and other devices.