A123 Systems has filed for bankruptcy following a turbulent year. The Massachusetts-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer that employs 2 500 has been struggling to keep its head above water following disappointing sales of electric vehicles and a costly recall back in March 2012.
A flower shaped semiconductor that could boost battery technology has been created by researchers at North Carolina State University. The nano-sized structures have ‘petals’ made from the semiconductor material germanium sulphide (GeS) stacked to resemble a flower. This results in a very thin structure that has a great surface area.
The ESPL team has returned from 13ELBC in Paris, the editor has been to many a battery conference so had a different take from his junior who was fresh to the conference world and easily impressed by free pens. There were many thought provoking presentations and plenty to see on the trade show floor. It was a great opportunity to meet the BEST readers, get a sense of what’s buzzing in the battery world and, of course, to present the winners of the BEST awards!
Fraught battery manufacturer A123 Systems has been handed salvation in the form of a US $465 million investment from Chinese car-parts maker Wanxiang Group Corporation.
This will result in Wanxiang, one of China’s biggest non-governmental companies, owning 80% of A123 and holding four of the nine board seats for A123.
A hydrogen-powered hybrid train has been designed and built by students at the University of Birmingham, UK. The prototype narrow gauge locomotive, running on a 5 000-litre hydrogen fuel cell combined with lead-acid batteries, is the first of its kind operating in the UK.
Chinese companies Kuraray and Kureha are to produce lithium-ion batteries made from plant-based raw materials at a joint factory in Okayama Prefecture.
Battery manufacturers Accutronics, based in Birmingham UK, have been awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership award for a joint project with Birmingham’s Aston University Business School.
Accutronics, who design, develop and manufacturer nickel metal hydride and lithium-ion batteries, joined with Aston for the two-year project to demonstrate how academic advancements could be used as a practical business tool.
Advances made in lithium-air battery technology by researchers at the University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, could provide ten times more energy density per mass unit than conventional lithium-ion batteries.
Hitachi Chemical Co will increase its production capacity for industrial lead-acid batteries by next January by expanding facilities of the subsidiary company Shin-Kobe Electric Machinery Co.
China has published a white paper confirming its position on rare earth elements following a complaint filed to the World Trade Organisation. The US, EU and Japan protested China are limiting their export of rare earth elements to protect domestic industries. China has rebuked this claim and cites mounting environmental damage by over-mining as the reason for slowing its mining programme.