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LG Chem, Ford in blockchain pilot to trace ‘ethical’ battery materials

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Tech giant IBM has teamed up with battery maker LG Chem, the Ford Motor Company and others to use blockchain technology “to trace and validate ethically-sourced materials” for batteries and other products.

The group, which includes Chinese mining firm Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt and auditing specialist RCS Global, is starting with a pilot focused on cobalt sourced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The move comes amid increasing pressure on electric vehicle producers and their battery suppliers to ensure an ethical approach for procuring raw materials— and hot on the heels of another ‘sustainable cobalt’ initiative launched by South Korea’s Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics, Germany’s BMW and chemicals group BASF.

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Cheaper BESS systems 'to rival fossil-fired peaking plants'

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Cheaper battery storage systems are less than 20 years away from becoming a "competitive" alternative to oil and gas-fired peaking plants, according to a new International Energy Agency (IEA) study.

The cost of battery storage is projected to “decline fast” by 2040 and global BESS capacity could reach 220 giagwatts by 2040, the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2018 said.

This would see batteries "increasingly compete with gas-fired peaking plants to manage short-run fluctuations in supply and demand"— with the scenario’s projected need for global peaking capacity set to increase by three-quarters compared to 2017.

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Korean-German partners launch ‘sustainable cobalt’ project in DRC

Mon, 12/10/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

South Korean firms Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics are teaming up with German car giant BMW and chemicals group BASF for a joint pilot cobalt mining project to “enhance sustainable mining” for batteries production.

The companies have signed a contract with the German overseas development support agency— Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)— to launch the pilot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

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Cabot Corp, Saft in US low-cobalt cathode research

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected speciality chemicals firm the Cabot Corporation as a technology partner to develop low-cobalt cathodes for next-generation lithium-ion batteries.

Cabot will work with researchers at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory and French battery maker Saft for the project. Argonne will assist in the synthesis of low-cobalt cathode compositions, while Saft will assist in the manufacture of batteries to validate performance of novel low-cobalt cathode formulations.

The DOE said it is investing a total of US$80 million “to explore more sustainable, affordable options” than cobalt— and “ultimately improve access to electric vehicle technology”.

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‘Pragmatism needed’ to create EU battery industry

Mon, 10/01/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Chris Herron

In a carefully worded swipe at the European Chemicals Agency (ECA), Eurometaux’s Chris Herron (pictured) has warned of the need for pragmatism with regard to the battery industry— when it comes to creating a low-carbon European future with batteries at the very centre of things.

Herron, public affairs manager for Eurometeaux, which represents the non-ferrous metals industry, told the International Congress for Battery Recycling in Berlin last week, a three-part solution was needed to create a new European battery industry— a circular economy, a battery action plan and a non-toxic environment— a loaded phrase, because Herron recognised that in order to make batteries, hazardous metals are inevitably involved.

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Project ‘eyes Indonesian nickel for batteries’

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 11:56 -- Hugh Finzel
PT Vale Truck

Two mining firms have reportedly started working on plans in Indonesia that could pave the way for launching a battery metals production facility.

Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining is conducting a feasibility study for the proposed project with PT Vale Indonesia, according to Reuters.

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Chinese lithium player signs Indonesia raw materials deal

Wed, 07/18/2018 - 09:27 -- Xuan Zhong
Chinese lithium player signs Indonesia raw materials deal

China’s Beijing Easpring Material Technology has moved to increase its grip on battery raw material supplies under a preliminary long-term deal with a Canadian project in Indonesia. 

Easpring’s non-binding offtake agreement with Pacific Rim Cobalt (PRC) will secure supplies of nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate— just weeks after Easpring unveiled expansion plans, saying demand for electric vehicles (EVs) had outstripped its existing lithium-ion cathode material production capacity.

 

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IEA urges ‘minimum standards’ on battery materials and recycling

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 11:03 -- Xuan Zhong
IEA urges ‘minimum standards’ on battery materials and recycling

Lithium-ion is “likely to remain the technology of choice” for electric vehicle (EV) batteries over the next decade— but “minimum standards” should govern material supplies and recycling, says a new study.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) report, Global EV Outlook 2018, said “clearly defined and respected norms and requirements for traceability are needed” across the batteries supply chain, after the global stock of EVs climbed from one million in 2015 to more than three million in 2017.

 

The full story is only available in our FREE weekly industry newsletter, so sign-up to get it delivered to your inbox every Monday.

IEA urges ‘minimum standards’ on battery materials and recycling

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 11:03 -- Xuan Zhong
IEA urges ‘minimum standards’ on battery materials and recycling

Lithium-ion is “likely to remain the technology of choice” for electric vehicle (EV) batteries over the next decade— but “minimum standards” should govern material supplies and recycling, says a new study.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) report, Global EV Outlook 2018, said “clearly defined and respected norms and requirements for traceability are needed” across the batteries supply chain, after the global stock of EVs climbed from one million in 2015 to more than three million in 2017.

 

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Chinese lithium recycler in NEV lithium link-up with BAIC

Wed, 05/16/2018 - 09:23 -- Xuan Zhong
Chinese lithium recycler in NEV lithium link-up with BAIC

Chinese lithium battery recycler GEM has teamed up with domestic state-owned carmaker BAIC to establish a used batteries collection and recycling operation.

The move is the latest response to Chinese government guidelines to ensure the prompt recycling of batteries from the country’s fast-developing new energy vehicle (NEV) market.

 

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