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Entek expands global lead-acid and lithium battery separator reach with NSG buy-out

Mon, 05/17/2021 - 08:24 -- paul Crompton
Entek expands global lead-acid and lithium battery separator reach with NSG buy-out

Battery separator firm Entek has signed a deal to acquire the majority stake in Nippon Sheet Glass’ (NSG) lead-acid battery separator business.

The buy-out combines US firm Entek’s core know-how in material science, equipment engineering and design, along with capital, to fund future growth with NSG Group’s leadership and customer focus.

Both companies have executed the relevant agreements and plan to complete the deal in August 2021— subject to laws and regulations in the relevant jurisdictions, including NSG’ home country Japan.

NSG will hold a minority stake in— although actual percentages are not being disclosed— and appoint a director to the board of the battery separator business (BSS).

The new BSS company will own all battery separator manufacturing facilities in Japan and China for both polyethylene (PE) separator and absorbent glass mat (AGM).  

The acquisition gives Entek more than 400 million square metres of aggregate PE separator production capacity (from its sites in the US, UK, Indonesia and Japan) to support its lead-acid battery market.

That figure does not include AGM capacity (Japan and China) or the firm’s lithium separator capacity in the US, the company’s VP of global sales, Clint Beutelschies, told BEST.

The deal was made when NSG decided the best option for the BSS business was for it to be integrated with, and managed by, Entek so that it could “develop further and enhance its value for its customers”.

NSG has supplied battery separators for lead-acid batteries mainly in Asia, including manufacturing footprints in China and a strong market position in Japan.

The firms are joint venture partners in the Entek NSG Separindo PE manufacturing plant in Indonesia, on which they broke ground in 2019.

In 2019, Entek announced plans to double the capacity of the Indonesian plant to 90 million square metres by the close of this year.

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Recycler signs deal to produce black mass from used lithium-ion e-bus batteries

Fri, 01/22/2021 - 08:56 -- paul Crompton

Lithium-ion battery recycling company Li-Cycle Corp has completed its battery recycling pilot plant where the Canadian produced black mass— a mixture of lithium, nickel, cobalt and copper— from used lithium-ion batteries.

The Canadian firm received 45 end-of-life lithium-ion battery modules from e-busses totalling 3,200 pounds from New Flyer Industries Canada and New Flyer of America— subsidiaries of bus manufacturer NFI Group— in Q4 of 2020.

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Start-ups secure funding to drive lithium-ion battery market in India

Wed, 01/20/2021 - 15:06 -- paul Crompton

Lithium-ion electric vehicle battery manufacturing and recycling start-up Lohum Cleantech has raised $7 million to expand its manufacturing and recycling capabilities and expand its presence to the US in the coming months.

The New Delhi, India, firm secured the cash during a round of funding from institutional investors led by Baring Private Equity Partners (BPEP). 

Lohum aims to increase its combined manufacturing and recycling capacity to 700MWh, from 150MWh for the former and 150MWh for the latter. 

Its manufacturing plant in Greater Noida has the capacity to produce battery packs for 75,000 electric two-wheelers, according to Lohum CEO Rajat Verma.

Verma told the Indian English language newspaper The Economic Times the company was looking to raise an additional $20 million in funding (INR 150 Crore) over the next year. 

Lohum assembles lithium-ion batteries from cells imported from other countries, including China and Taiwan.

It follows Mumbai-based electric vehicle and energy storage company Gegadyne raising $5 million in strategic investment from electrical appliances giant V-Guard. 

This investment will enable Gegadyne Energy to scale up its operations and further enhance research and development.

Founded in 2015, Gegadyne says its battery consists of proprietary nano-material composites and ‘advanced battery architectures’ that enable quick charging batteries with high energy density similar to lithium-ion batteries.

However, it is not clear what chemistry its battery uses but it claims to be able to charge in 15 minutes.

Fast charging lithium battery that could allay range anxiety and last two million miles

Wed, 01/20/2021 - 12:54 -- paul Crompton

Engineers from Pennsylvania State University in the US are developing a lithium iron phosphate battery that has the potential range of 250 miles and the ability to charge in 10 minutes.

The team says its battery can produce 40kWh and 300kW of power during cycling and fast charge electric vehicles by heating it up to 1400Fahrenheit.

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JAC Motors partners with CBAK to design lithium-ion batteries for China’s EV market

Mon, 01/18/2021 - 10:55 -- paul Crompton

China-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer CBAK Energy Technology has signed a three-year strategic agreement with state-owned vehicle OEM Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motors).

The strategic agreement will combine the former's battery knowledge in the research, development, and manufacturing of battery cells with the latter's technology capabilities in the electric vehicle industry. 


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Norwegian gigafactory firm signs lithium-ion battery technology deal

Thu, 01/14/2021 - 15:25 -- paul Crompton

Norwegian gigafactory firm Freyr has signed a definitive license and services agreement to use 24M’s SemiSolid lithium-ion battery platform technology at its planned facilities in Mo i Rana, Norway.

24M has drastically reduced the number of steps required to manufacture traditional battery cells, while still using conventional lithium-ion raw materials. 

Freyr expects this will reduce the capital expenditures and enable ‘substantial operational cost saving’ while increasing production throughput through a highly flexible production platform that works across all chemistries and can be re-tooled for various sized batteries and cathode and anode chemistries.

Tom Jensen, the CEO of Freyr, said: “24M has fundamentally redesigned the traditional lithium-ion cell technology and production platform, delivering higher energy density per battery while enabling substantial reduction in capex, operating costs, CO2 emissions and physical footprint of the manufacturing facility as compared to conventional solutions.”

In June 2019, Japan firm Kyocera began pilot production of 24M’s SemiSolid battery technology to validate its use in residential energy storage systems in the Japanese market.

Freyr is targeting the development of more than 40GWh of scalable, modular battery cell production capacity via a phased development approach using deep partnership-based strategies, including in-licensing of next generation technologies. 

In December, Freyr signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with mining company Glencore International for the potential supply of ethically sourced and traceable raw materials.  



Australia’s ambitious lithium-ion ESS goals continue with plans to replace coal power plant

Thu, 01/14/2021 - 10:24 -- paul Crompton

Integrated energy firm Origin has issued an expression of interest to companies to supply and install a 700MW battery to replace its coal-fired plant in Australia.

If built, the country’s largest battery energy storage system would support Origin’s transition away from coal-fired generation by 2032, while complementing the policy objectives of the NSW energy roadmap.

Origin were unable to tell BEST when the EoI would end, which battery chemistry it was focusing on or when it plans to build the plant.


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Innovative battery chemistry revolutionises zinc-air battery

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 12:07 -- paul Crompton

Scientists at a German university have developed a new battery chemistry for zinc-air batteries based on an innovative, non-alkaline, aqueous electrolyte.

The full zinc-air batteries can reportedly operate stably for 320 cycles and 1,600 hours under ambient air atmosphere.

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BYD builds on its closed loop dream with second-life lithium-ion battery partnership

Tue, 01/05/2021 - 14:34 -- paul Crompton

Chinese battery OEM and electric vehicle maker BYD will transform old batteries into energy storage systems through a partnership with Chinese lithium-ion recycling start-up Pandpower and Japanese trading house Itochu.

Old battery packs from buses, taxis and other vehicles manufactured by BYD will be collected from dealerships across China and turned into ship-container-sized power units for renewable energy and factories.

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Lead-acid battery formation firm Inbatec’s new global VP to boost presence in the Americas

Mon, 01/04/2021 - 11:57 -- paul Crompton

German lead-acid battery formation company Inbatec has appointed Nick Hennen as global vice-president of sales and business development to advance and increase business in North and South America.

Hennen, who will be located in Missouri, US, will focus on expanding the German firm’s reach as well as assisting its sister company Kustan in expanding its sales. 

Hennen has been in the battery industry for more than 25 years, initially as a sales engineer with Bitrode— specialising in non-automotive technologies such as lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride— and most recently as VP of Americas & global business development sales at Digatron.

Inbatec's managing director, Christian Papmahl, said: “I have known Nick for many years and understand his knowledge of battery production.

“More importantly though, he is well-respected with a large network and has a global understanding of all battery technologies. We are ready to take the next step and coordinate sales and growth on that level.

“We think Nick’s background across all types of battery production and end user applications brings a new perspective to our companies.

“In the short-term, we want to be more in touch with our customers in North America, but looking to a strategy of growing opportunities in India, Southeast Asia and China very quickly. 

“A lot of exciting things are going to happen with both Inbatec and Kustan over the next few years, and Nick will lead many of these efforts.”

Nick went to the University of Missouri and has a degree in Electrical Engineering. Later he achieved an executive level MBA from the Olin School at Washington University, St. Louis. 

Most of his career has been focused on battery formation including lead-acid, lithium and other technologies. He also has been involved in several stationary energy storage projects in the US and South America, primarily for electrical grid usage.

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