A Literature Review of the Environmental and Health Risks of Copper Foil Manufacturing Plants in Relation to a New Facility Planned in Catalonia, Spain


  • José L. Domingo

    Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, 43201 Reus, Catalonia, Spain


Received: 25 March 2024 | Revised: 28 April 2024 | Accepted: 6 May 2024 | Published Online: 22 May 2024


Electrolytic copper foil (elecfoil) is a thin copper foil with a thickness of less than 10 µm, which is an essential component for the manufacture of electric batteries. More specifically, it is widely used to make cathode collectors in rechargeable lithium batteries. Over the next few years, the expected demand for electricity is very important. Therefore, there will be an evident need for new manufacturing plants of copper foil. In relation to this, as can happen with any industrial facility, elecfoil manufacturing plants may pose potential environmental and health risks. These risks may affect the surrounding ecosystems, as well as the population living in the vicinity of the facilities. Contamination of air (particulate matter, SO2, NOx, VOCs), water (copper and other heavy metals), and soil (heavy metals and other harmful substances) is an issue of notable concern. In Mont-Roig del Camp (Catalonia, Spain), a new elecfoil facility is currently planned. Considering the social concern that this facility—the first one in Spain—has raised in the population of the area, the state-of-the-art electrolytic copper foil manufacturing plants are here reviewed. The scientific databases Scopus, PubMed and Google Scholar, as well as information obtained from different sources (Internet), were used. The most important conclusion of this review is that there is currently no information—available in scientific journals—on the characterization and evaluation of the environmental and health risks of this kind of facility. Anyhow, to minimize the potential negative environmental and health impacts of this planned elecfoil manufacturing plant, strict periodical controls, comprehensive environmental management systems, and relevant regulations are strongly recommended.


Electrolytic copper foil; Manufacturing plants; Environmental pollutants; Health risks; Social concern


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How to Cite

Domingo, J. L. (2024). A Literature Review of the Environmental and Health Risks of Copper Foil Manufacturing Plants in Relation to a New Facility Planned in Catalonia, Spain. Journal of Environmental & Earth Sciences, 6(2), 29–41. https://doi.org/10.30564/jees.v6i2.6314