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Li-Cycle ups US lithium-ion battery recycling capacity to meet growing demand

Tue, 09/21/2021 - 13:46 -- paul Crompton

Canadian firm Li-Cycle has confirmed it will build a fourth commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in North America.

The plant— called a spoke by the firm— in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will provide an initial processing capacity increase of up to 5,000 tonnes of manufacturing scrap and end-of-life batteries per year.

The Tuscaloosa site is also being developed to accommodate a future, second 5,000 tonne processing line, which would double capacity at the site.

The Alabama Spoke is due to start operations by mid-2022.

Spoke 4 will initially bring Li-cycle’s North American recycling capacity to 25,000 tonnes per year, and adds to the firm’s facilities in Ontario, Canada, New York, and a plant in Arizona, US, that is in advanced stage of construction.

The Arizona, Spoke 3, facility will process 10,000 tonnes of batteries per year when complete, effectively doubling the firm’s total recycling capacity in North America.

Tim Johnston, co-founder, and executive chairman of Li-Cycle, said: "Originally, we had planned on rolling out three commercial Spoke facilities in North America over the next five years, with a total recycling capacity of 20,000 tonnes per year. 

“However, demand for lithium-ion battery recycling has continued to outperform our forecasts and we are now forecasting total recycling capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year. 

“This Alabama facility is essential in filling a recycling gap in the southeastern United States. Like our Arizona Spoke, we expect the new facility to have the capability to process entire vehicle battery packs, without dismantling.”

Univar Solutions will be an anchor battery feed supply customer for the new facility, following on Li-Cycle’s previously announced on-site partnership with Univar Solutions to provide waste management solutions for electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery manufacturing.

Mercedes-Benz, US International (MBUSI) is working with Univar Solutions on end-of-life solutions for lithium-ion batteries.

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Pilot plant pushes NEO closer to lithium-ion silicon anode material commercialisation

Fri, 07/16/2021 - 09:23 -- paul Crompton
me-metals schematic of silicon process

Canadian lithium-ion battery material firm NEO Battery Materials is on the verge of developing a first prototype of its silicon anode material.

NEO is in the scale-up phase of commercialisation following the successful integration of its silicon (Si) technology in commercial graphite anodes.

In phase one, NEO will provide graphite/Si mixture anode materials with different levels of Si content for controllable anode specific capacity. 

NEO reports it has achieved ~500 mAh/g, at a 70% capacity enhancement.

Spencer Huh, president and CEO of NEO, said: “The development of our prototype is part of our research to increase the specific capacity of our high silicon content anodes with graphite, and we are also onto a new strategic move into integrating NEO’s silicon with solid-state electrolytes. 

“We are in discussion with parties in the industry to explore and discover potential synergies and mutual benefit for NEO’s silicon anode technology.”

The firm has also announced the initiation of a pilot plant project where it intends to use in-house resources to design and test equipment that will use its single-step Si nanocoating process.

Sung Rock Hwang, chief operating officer and senior vice president of NEO, said the goal of the project was to establish a basic pilot-scale coating process design and to check the feasibility of NEO’s nanocoating technology for metallurgical-grade silicon.

He added: “Moreover, we are further focusing on a cost-effective separation method since it will capture the largest portion of energy consumption during our nanocoating pilot process. 

“The pilot plant project aims to prove the capacity of the Company to produce various sized Si materials ranging from ~50 nanometers to several micron-sized Si materials that are strategically important to conventional liquid-based Li-ion batteries and next generation all-solid-state batteries (ASSBs).”

The company’s directors, scientific advisors, and engineers are in the process of working on the conceptual design of the pilot plant, which marks the first step towards realising wide-scale production. 

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Mining firm buys rights to patented vanadium recovery process

Fri, 11/27/2020 - 09:17 -- paul Crompton

Mining firm VanadiumCorp Resource has become the sole owner of a vanadium recovery process following a patent purchase agreement (PPA) with fellow Canada based Electrochem Technologies and Materials. 

The PPA sees VanadiumCorp take control of all patent rights for the VanadiumCorp-Electrochem Processing Technology (VEPT), including the entire intellectual property portfolio.

Call for lithium-ion battery transport loophole to be closed after battery blaze

Tue, 06/09/2020 - 15:06 -- paul Crompton

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling for a safety loophole to be closed after a fire destroyed a truck transporting large format lithium-ion batteries.

Recommendations by the independent US government agency responsible for investigating civil transportation have been made to address “gaps in the existing regulations” uncovered during the inquiry into the fire in Canada.

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Making a CAES for compressed air storage as Canada deploys first commercial system

Thu, 11/28/2019 - 15:03 -- paul Crompton

The world’s first commercial compressed air energy storage (CAES) project has been completed in Canada by developers Hydrostor in partnership with NRStor Incorporated.

The 1.75MW/10+MWh Goderich A-CAES facility is contracted to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). 

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Battery materials firm hires lithium-ion expert to drive EV market penetration

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 14:54 -- paul Crompton

Graphite One has appointed a lithium-ion battery expert as its new chief technology officer to lead the Canadian battery materials firm’s move into the electric vehicle market.

Dr. Shane Beattie will be responsible for leading the company’s plan to process and manufacture high grade coated spherical graphite products for electric vehicle batteries and energy storage systems.

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Hydrostor to deliver compressed air energy storage projects after funding round

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 15:32 -- paul Crompton
Hydrostor to deliver compressed air energy storage projects after funding round

Hydrostor announced on 19 September that it had closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in its latest funding round as it aims to drive forward plans to commercialise its advanced compressed air energy storage (A-CAES) technology. 

The financing included a combination of equity, debt, project development and cash commitments, and an asset acquisition.

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Flow battery firm headed for Canadian stock market

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:17 -- Hugh Finzel

Vancouver-based flow battery manufacturer MGX Renewables expects to list its shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) after receiving conditional approval to do so.

MGX Minerals’ (MGXM) subsidiary ZincNyx was renamed MGX Renewables (MGXR) in 2018 and a plan of arrangement was unveiled to spin out 40% of the common shares of MGXR.

MGXR’s modular zinc-air flow batteries are targeted for long-duration energy storage and deliver power ranging from 20kW to 50MW, with scalable capacity of 120kWh to 1GW.

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Commercial start for vanadium electrolyte using novel tech in Canada

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 12:43 -- Hugh Finzel
Commercial start for vanadium electrolyte using novel tech in Canada

Canada’s Electrochem Technologies & Materials has started commercial production of all-vanadium equimolar electrolyte solutions directly from vanadium pentoxide purchased on the market by using a novel process.

Production of the electrolyte for vanadium redox flow batteries “is now performed on demand” at Electrochem’s facilities in Quebec, using the company’s proprietary VRFBEX unit.

The process uses VEPT (VanadiumCorp-Electrochem processing technology)— which has been jointly developed with Vancouver-based mining and technology firm VanadiumCorp Resource.

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Flow battery partnership to overcome ‘failure’ of UK storage regs

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

A Canadian-UK partnership intends to bolster the UK energy storage market with proposals for 15 projects, totalling 20MW/80-120MWh.

CEO of UK-based Immersa, Robert Miles (pictured), said that the partnership with Toronto-based vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) producer Cellcube would address a gap in the UK energy storage market, which he attributes to “a lack of regulatory focus”.

“The UK energy storage market had a stuttered start due to continuous policy change, contract ambiguity, and a failure to recognise the benefits of battery storage projects under legislation demands”, Miles said.

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