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China: Production of "clean" lithium-ion batteries reportedly causes heavy air & water pollution with graphite in northeast provinces

"...The companies making [lithium-ion batteries] promote the bright futuristic possibilities of the “clean” technology. But virtually all such batteries use graphite, and...produces old-fashioned industrial pollution…Washington Post journalists heard the same story from villagers living near graphite companies [in provinces in Northeast China]: sparkling night air, damaged crops, homes and belongings covered in soot, polluted drinking water…. Some provinces…sought to crack down on the polluters…[b]ut…the cleanup efforts…were short-lived or otherwise inadequate...One obstacle is the complexity of supply chains and the secrecy that surrounds them…"

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Author: 黄嬿,科技新报

华盛顿邮报长篇调查报导…追踪…生产钴与石墨的矿场与工厂,最后制造成电子产品锂电池的阴极与阳极的过程,…让[读者]了解,享受高科技设备的同时…付出[的]代价。

大部分的石墨都是在中国开采与处理,2015 年调查中国供应全球三分之二的石墨,黑龙江省是最大的石墨来源地,而大部分的钴来自刚果的矿场,许多作坊的矿工有时候会在自己家地板下找到一些矿石,矿场常常倒榻,伤亡普遍且无数。一旦被提取出来,这些材料会到亚洲生产,制作成电池部件,世界最大电池制造商如Samsung SDI、LG 化学、Panasonic,这些公司向矿业公司购买材料制作成锂电池,再卖给Samsung、LG、丰田、通用汽车。

中国最大石墨供应商是贝特瑞公司,全球市占率达 75%,调查地点的矿场与工厂生产的石墨几乎都是供应给贝特瑞,以及其他中国与日本的中介商。 Amazon 的 Kindle 锂电池供应商新能源科技 (Amperex Technology) 也是向贝特瑞采购

虽然中国官方过去 3 年曾经对工厂祭出罚款,并誓言要让这些工厂撤出,但成效不彰,现在官方与当地业者勾结,甚至不希望记者与村民接触。华邮大篇幅报导中国东北石墨污染事件后,许多大型电子公司包括 Samsung SDI 都说会调查锂电池生产造成的污染问题,Panasonic 则表示已找到污染证据,现在正在进行因应对策

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Author: 黃嬿,科技新報

華盛頓郵報長篇調查報導…追踪…生產鈷與石墨的礦場與工廠,最後製造成電子產品鋰電池的陰極與陽極的過程,…讓[讀者]了解,享受高科技設備的同時…付出[的 ]代價。

大部分的石墨都是在中國開採與處理,2015年調查中國供應全球三分之二的石墨,黑龍江省是最大的石墨來源地,而大部分的鈷來自剛果的礦場,許多作坊的礦工有 時候會在自己家地板下找到一些礦石,礦場常常倒榻,傷亡普遍且無數。 一旦被提取出來,這些材料會到亞洲生產,製作成電池部件,世界最大電池製造商如Samsung SDI、LG化學、Panasonic,這些公司向礦業公司購買材料製作成鋰電池,再賣給Samsung、LG、 豐田、通用汽車。

中國最大石墨供應商是貝特瑞公司,全球市佔率達75%,調查地點的礦場與工廠生產的石墨幾乎都是供應給貝特瑞,以及其他中國與日本的中介商。 Amazon的Kindle鋰電池供應商新能源科技(Amperex Technology)也是向貝特瑞採購

雖然中國官方過去3年曾經對工廠祭出罰款,並誓言要讓這些工廠撤出,但成效不彰,現在官方與當地業者勾結,甚至不希望記者與村民接觸。 華郵大篇幅報導中國東北石墨污染事件後,許多大型電子公司包括Samsung SDI都說會調查鋰電池生產造成的污染問題,Panasonic則表示已找到污染證據,現在正在進行因應對策

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Article
1 October 2016

In your phone, In their Air

Author: Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post

….The companies making [lithium-ion batteries] promote the bright futuristic possibilities of the “clean” technology. But virtually all such batteries use graphite, and its cheap production in China, often under lax environmental controls, produces old-fashioned industrial pollution.

…Washington Post journalists heard the same story from villagers living near graphite companies: sparkling night air, damaged crops, homes and belongings covered in soot, polluted drinking water — and government officials inclined to look the other way to benefit a major employer….Some provinces in China sought to crack down on the polluters...Villagers said the cleanup efforts failed — they were short-lived or otherwise inadequate — because local authorities are closely allied with company officials...

[WP] asked consumer-product companies and battery makers about their graphite supply chains, [which include] Amazon, Apple, General Motors, LG Chem, LG, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI (battery-maker), DK/Amperex Technology Ltd. (ATL) Toyota, BTR, Aoyu, Haida Graphite, Henson Graphite [some responses included]...Whether consumer companies are adhering to their environmental bona fides, however, is difficult to know, especially if the supply chain leads back to China. One obstacle is the complexity of supply chains and the secrecy that surrounds them…[and] those who live near the factories, are often unwilling to complain publicly, especially in China.

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