We need batteries to fight climate change, can we scale up production sustainably?

pile of batteries

In a radio stream hosted by Connecticut public radio's Patrick Skahill and including the New York Times' Ivan Penn, André Taylor, associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NYU Tandon, addresses the importance of lithium batteries, the science behind them, their environmental impact, and new technologies that may succeed them. 

Acknowledging industry and government's focus on electric vehicles, Taylor articulated the importance of sustainable sourcing and production of the batteries that power them, and the safety of component materials, noting that the mining of both lithium and cobalt used in lithium ion batteries come with both an economic an ethical cost. 

He pointed out that researchers in his lab are working on such alternatives as sodium batteries, and how to improve their efficiency and lifespan while reducing internal corrosion.