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Delay material recycle time
#1
A quick modelling question: 
Is there a function in the TIMES code that allows recycled material to be released at the end of the lifetime of a technology?
The example might be an EV that takes in Lithium as a material, and then releases it at the end of the technology lifetime.

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#2
Please refer to the documentation (Part II) for the following attributes:

  ● NCAP_OCOM(r,y,p,c) – Amount of commodity c per unit of capacity released during the dismantling of a process.
  ● NCAP_DLAG(r,y,p) –  Number of years delay before decommissioning can begin after the lifetime of a technology has ended.

Commodity output flows defined by NCAP_OCOM are, in principle, assumed to occur uniformly over NCAP_DLIFE, and to start right after NCAP_DLAG (default value: NCAP_DLIFE =1). With NCAP_DLAG you can thus delay the release of the commodity by a desired number of years.  However, due to the granularity of the periods the actual timing of the material release is usually not accurate.
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#3
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(27-10-2023, 02:53 PM)Antti-L Wrote: Please refer to the documentation (Part II) for the following attributes:

  ● NCAP_OCOM(r,y,p,c) – Amount of commodity c per unit of capacity released during the dismantling of a process.
  ● NCAP_DLAG(r,y,p) –  Number of years delay before decommissioning can begin after the lifetime of a technology has ended.

Commodity output flows defined by NCAP_OCOM are, in principle, assumed to occur uniformly over NCAP_DLIFE, and to start right after NCAP_DLAG (default value: NCAP_DLIFE =1). With NCAP_DLAG you can thus delay the release of the commodity by a desired number of years.  However, due to the granularity of the periods the actual timing of the material release is usually not accurate.



Hi Antti-L,

I greatly appreciate your prompt and insightful response to my previous inquiry.

There is, however, a particular aspect of the process that continues to pose challenges. As per the current model using NCAP_OCOM(r,y,p,c), the input and output commodities are identical as depicted in Figure 1. This implies a direct recycling loop where lithium batteries are converted back into the same type of batteries before proceeding to the demand (DMD) phase. My objective, instead, is to model the output of the recycling process as Lithium carbonate, which can then be utilized in subsequent processes as illustrated in Figure 2.

An alternative solution I'm considering involves the creation of an intermediary product, such as 'Lithium battery - Recycling'. By applying the PRE function to this dummy product, we could potentially yield Lithium carbonate as the output commodity. However, a crucial requirement for this process is the introduction of a 10-year delay before the PRE function activates, as conceptualized in Figure 3.

Would it be feasible within our current modeling framework to set this PRE function to only trigger after a decade-long interval? If so, could you provide guidance on how this might be implemented, or suggest an alternative mechanism to achieve the desired delay?

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#4
Sure, if you need to add a process for the refining the recovered material before recycling it back to use, then you need to add an intermediate commodity, which is very easy as such.

> Would it be feasible within our current modeling framework to set this PRE function to only trigger after a decade-long interval?

I am sorry but I am not fully able to see what you are trying to accomplish by what you describe there. By using NCAP_ICOM / NCAP_OCOM you already have a delay of NCAP_TLIFE+NCAP_DLAG at the battery, for the material recovered from the battery (so end-of-life recycling with a delay). I also don't understand what those boxes that have NCAP_OCOM inside them are meant to represent (NCAP_ICOM and NCAP_OCOM are TIMES input parameters).

I am also confused by your term "PRE function". There are no "functions" in TIMES.  So, what is that "PRE function"?  Is it a process in the model, i.e. a technology?  Do you wish to model first a delay of NCAP_TLIFE+NCAP_DLAG and then another delay of 10 years for the processing of the recovered material?  And do you mean that only 5% of recovered lithium can be effectively recycled (EFF 0.05)? Would 95% of it be wasted? I guess I am not able to help you further due my limited understanding of which kind of recycling aspects you are trying to model. By there are expert modellers that have been modeling circular economy in TIMES, let's hope they can help you.
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#5
Hi Antti-L,

Thank you very much for your reply. Perhaps my picture has complicated the problem too much, let me express it as simply as possible.

By using NCAP_ICOM / NCAP_OCOM involves the same substance for both inflow and outflow. Is there a way to distinguish between them? This is because when lithium batteries flow in, they are in a rechargeable state, and when they flow out, they are in a depleted state. The next steps they connect to will be different operations.

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#6
> By using NCAP_ICOM / NCAP_OCOM involves the same substance for both inflow and outflow.

I am not sure what you mean by "involves the same substance".  But yes, I understood from your first post that "EV that takes in Lithium as a material, and then releases it at the end of the technology lifetime", which would imply that the same substance, Lithium, is involved in both the input flow and the output flow. But with respect to NCAP_ICOM / NCAP_OCOM parameters, you can use any commodity index for each flow. For example, you could use "Lithium-In" for NCAP_ICOM and "Lithium-Out" for NCAP_OCOM. Then the commodities would be fully distinguished, with separate commodity balances, which can be linked by adding some process(es) converting e.g. "Lithium-Out" to "Lithium-In" etc.

So, I am not able to see what seems to be the issue with the same substance being involved in the flows. Can you elaborate on the problem you are seeing?

> when lithium batteries flow in, they are in a rechargeable state, and when they flow out, they are in a depleted state.

Ok, I see now you are talking about batteries flowing in and out, instead of lithium, but that still does not clarify what the issue is.
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#7
(10-11-2023, 10:15 PM)Antti-L Wrote: > By using NCAP_ICOM / NCAP_OCOM involves the same substance for both inflow and outflow.

I am not sure what you mean by "involves the same substance".  But yes, I understood from your first post that "EV that takes in Lithium as a material, and then releases it at the end of the technology lifetime", which would imply that the same substance, Lithium, is involved in both the input flow and the output flow. But with respect to NCAP_ICOM / NCAP_OCOM parameters, you can use any commodity index for each flow. For example, you could use "Lithium-In" for NCAP_ICOM and "Lithium-Out" for NCAP_OCOM. Then the commodities would be fully distinguished, with separate commodity balances, which can be linked by adding some process(es) converting e.g. "Lithium-Out" to "Lithium-In" etc.

So, I am not able to see what seems to be the issue with the same substance being involved in the flows. Can you elaborate on the problem you are seeing?

> when lithium batteries flow in, they are in a rechargeable state, and when they flow out, they are in a depleted state.

Ok, I see now you are talking about batteries flowing in and out, instead of lithium, but that still does not clarify what the issue is.

Hi Antti-L:

The thing I want to achieve is a combination between lithium material flow framework with TIMES model.

>NCAP_ICOM / NCAP_OCOM parameters, you can use any commodity index for each flow. For example, you could use "Lithium-In" for NCAP_ICOM and "Lithium-Out" for NCAP_OCOM.

Previously, I saw a templet using NCAP_ICOM & NCAP_OCOM to recycling materials that the reason why I think they have to be one commodity (sheet 1). Based on your reply, is that try the attribute can be used as Sheet 2?

>Ok, I see now you are talking about batteries flowing in and out, instead of lithium, but that still does not clarify what the issue is.

This actually the same question, I just want to use batteries explain more clearly.

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#8
Your screenshot shows an Excel spreadsheet apparently for VEDA input data, although I cannot see any VEDA FI_T tags, which I think would be necessary for VEDA to read the data. 

I am not a VEDA expert (only on TIMES), but anyway, your process flows look somewhat strange to me: You have flows of ELC, LTH, LTHR, COBALT, COBALTR, NICKEL, and NICKELR, which are all defined as Comm-IN flows to the TRAELCCAR process. The only output flow appears to be TRACAR. Yet, you define NCAP_OCOM for the commodities LTHR, COBALTR and NICKELR, which are Comm-IN flows. I am not quite sure whether or not these flow specifications would make sense, but I would rather have expected that you would define LTHR, COBALTR and NICKELR as output flows, unless you want these same commodities to be inputs to TRAELCCAR as well? I also think you need to have all commodities defined in a ~FI_Comm table.
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#9
(11-11-2023, 05:13 AM)Antti-L Wrote: Your screenshot shows an Excel spreadsheet apparently for VEDA input data, although I cannot see any VEDA FI_T tags, which I think would be necessary for VEDA to read the data. 

I am not a VEDA expert (only on TIMES), but anyway, your process flows look somewhat strange to me: You have flows of ELC, LTH, LTHR, COBALT, COBALTR, NICKEL, and NICKELR, which are all defined as Comm-IN flows to the TRAELCCAR process. The only output flow appears to be TRACAR. Yet, you define NCAP_OCOM for the commodities LTHR, COBALTR and NICKELR, which are Comm-IN flows. I am not quite sure whether or not these flow specifications would make sense, but I would rather have expected that you would define LTHR, COBALTR and NICKELR as output flows, unless you want these same commodities to be inputs to TRAELCCAR as well? I also think you need to have all commodities defined in a ~FI_Comm table.

Hi Antti_L,

Apologies for the delay in my response due to some personal issues.

Thank you again for your detailed suggestions and feedback!

    > I am not quite sure whether or not these flow specifications would make sense, but I would rather have expected that you would define LTHR, COBALTR, and NICKELR as output flows,
Yes, I considered your point and have accordingly adjusted it.

     >I cannot see any VEDA FI_T tags, I also think you need to have all commodities defined in a ~FI_Comm table.
Indeed, the earlier version of the sheet was just a preliminary sample and didn't include these elements. Now, I realize the significance of incorporating these details for better clarity.

Based on your recommendations, I've developed a new sample sheet that encompasses a recycling process (Including LFP battery recycling to LCE, the LCE be produced to new LFP batteries and then be used in EV). Hope this make sense and can get your suggestions.

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