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Engitec building lead recycling plants in Spain, China

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Italian engineering firm Engitec Technologies has been contracted to expand a lead battery recycling facility in Spain.

The Metalurgica de Medina plant at Medina del Campo, in northwest Spain, will be expanded by some 600 square metres and increase processing capacity from more than 30,000 tonnes of batteries annually to around 120,000 tonnes a year.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2019. Engitec did not disclose the cost of the project.

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BioSolar plans next steps for silicon in emerging battery tech

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

US lithium technology firm BioSolar has set out the next steps towards incorporating its silicon additive technology into commercial-grade lithium-ion battery prototypes.

CEO Dr David Lee said: “We anticipate that the next generation lithium-ion batteries are going to require next generation silicon anode materials that provide higher energy and power density.”

Lee told BEST Battery Briefing larger quantities of silicon anode materials incorporating BioSolar's additives are being prepared by the company's partners in South Korea and the US— using BioSolar's proprietary additives and processes and raw silicon materials from Silicio Ferrosolar, a subsidiary of UK-based Ferroglobe.

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UK consortium secures funds to develop liquid air energy storage tech

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Bardon Hill Quarry, Leicestershire

A commercial-academic UK consortium has secured more than £350,000 (US$454,000) of government funding to develop a liquid air energy storage (LAES) system.

Partners building material company Aggregate Industries, energy tech firm Innovatium and the University of Birmingham, said the funding would be used to take its Prisma (peak reduction by integrated storage and management of air) technology “from initial laboratory testing to full operation in an industrial environment”.

Aggregate Industries said Prisma “is an innovative LAES technology that stores energy in liquid air form to provide compressed air, allowing inefficient partially-loaded, variable-demand compressors to be turned off, thus improving the total system efficiency by up to 57%”.

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EU launches ‘batteries innovation platform’

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Diego Pavia

Batteries Europe— a technology and innovation platform “to drive research and innovation, knowledge transfer and competitiveness across the European battery value chain”— has been launched by the European Commission.

The move aims to “spur development of battery projects at both pan-EU and national levels”.

The €1 million (US$1.13m) project will be operated on behalf of the Commission by sustainable energy investment firm InnoEnergy, in cooperation with the EuropeanEnergy Research Alliance (EERA) and the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE), and supported by project partners Zabala and Clerens Consulting.

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Mercedes adds batteries to investments in Poland

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Mercedes-Benz is to build a new battery factory in Jawor, Poland, creating 300 jobs and expanding the global battery production network of Mercedes to nine factories across three continents.

The announcement follows up on the German automotive manufacturer’s electric initiative, under which the company will “electrify the complete portfolio until 2022”.

Mercedes is currently building a “state-of-the-art engine factory” at the site in Jawor, 100 kilometres from the German border. This plant “will produce four cylinder engines for hybrid and conventionally driven vehicles” and will be the first production site of Mercedes cars in Poland.

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Europe ‘lost edge to China’ in batteries— Saft owner

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Patrick Pouyanné

Europe has “lost its edge” to China in the battery stakes— even before the EU’s proposed Batteries Alliance starts making cells, the boss of the company that owns French batteries firm Saft has said.

Patrick Pouyanné (pictured), the chairman and CEO of oil and gas giant Total, which acquired Saft in 2016, told broadcaster CNBC: “Quite frankly, Europe’s lost its edge, in this area, hasn’t it? The Chinese are now the world leaders in renewable energy.”

Pouyanné said he had spoken to German economy minister Peter Altmaier, who had “talked a lot about batteries, and how he thinks it’s an important direction” in which Europe should go.

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UK contest to find energy storage ‘innovation’

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

The UK’s Department of Business has launched a competition offering up to £20 million (US$26.2m) for “innovative, replicable solutions that could provide a market competitive alternative to conventional commercial large scale energy storage technologies.”

To be eligible for the competition funds, projects must demonstrate “a target minimum output power of 30MW or minimum capacity of 50MWh.”

The scope of the competition includes “a broad range of large-scale energy storage technologies over a range of durations, capacity and response times.”

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Anderman cautious on EV ‘expansion’

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Menahem Anderman

Electric vehicle penetration of the global car fleet will be at less than 10% by 2025, industry guru Menahem Anderman has told BEST Battery Briefing.

Anderman, who chairs this week’s Advanced Automotive Battery (AABC Europe) Conference under way in Strasbourg, said: “We are on the edge of expansion, but I am not sure it will be as much as some people project.”

“It might be a bit lower than some, such as European car makers, predict,” Anderman told BBB.

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Study to consider EU ‘green’ battery regulations

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

A study has been launched to inform potential new regulations stipulating the ‘green’ characteristics of batteries to be produced in the EU, BEST Battery Briefing can reveal.

EU energy chief Maroš Šefčovič wants only batteries with “truly green” credentials and the “highest environmental standards” to be produced by the bloc’s ambitious Batteries Alliance, which Šefčovič says will incorporate a cell manufacturing industry to compete with Asia.

Now BBB has learned EU chiefs have commissioned a feasibility study “on possible requirements” for batteries to be produced by the Alliance— a pet project of Šefčovič, who is a candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as Commission president.

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Germany names ‘national battery factory’ consortium

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Federal research minister Karliczek  © BMBF / Hans-Joachim Rickel

Germany has revealed the partners of a new government-backed battery cell consortium, as part of plans to secure the nation’s “technological sovereignty in battery technology”.

Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché has been selected to join the consortium along with German battery peers BMZ, TerraE, Customcells, EAS and Liacon.

Federal research minister Anja Karliczek said Germany would invest an extra €500 million (US$570m) in battery research over the next four years, including the construction of a ‘national battery research factory’— to be operated by the consortium— bringing research and production activities “under one roof”.

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