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Lithium-ion

PNNL develops system to prevent lithium-ion ESS fires before they start

Tue, 05/25/2021 - 10:54 -- paul Crompton

A team from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a sensor system that can prevent dangerous conditions developing in outdoor lithium-ion battery cabinets. 

Supported by DOE’s Office of Electricity, IntelliVent automatically opens cabinet doors to prevent buildup of flammable gases if it detects smoke, heat, or gas.

The system can be retrofitted into cabinet-style battery enclosures, such as those used in stationary grid energy storage applications. 

Due to limitations of the product standard, the system is not designed to NFPA-69 (Standard on Explosion Prevention Systems). 

Intellivent, which is available for nonexclusive licensing, was designed to work with a variety of sensors.

A 15-month investigation in the US found that dendritic growth had caused cascading thermal runaway, which in turn caused an explosion at a lithium-ion battery storage facility operated by the Arizona Public Service (APS) utility.

The explosion in Surprise, Arizona, on 19 April, 2019, seriously injured four fire fighters. 

Contributing factors into the explosion included no ventilation for flammable ‘off-gasses’.

Bobby Ruiz, the fire chief in Peoria, Arizona, whose firefighters were injured in the explosion, said: "This is absolutely in the right direction. Getting all doors open early before gas buildup will make the incident safer. 

“It will also increase situational awareness by being able to see if the batteries are smoking or are on fire. And, if extinguishment is needed, we can direct the water right at the modules from a safe distance." 

The Snohomish County Public Utility District’s new Arlington Microgrid and Clean Energy Center, in Everett, Washington, will be the first to install the safety technology when it retrofits a 1.2 MW battery with the IntelliVent system.

Image: First caption for “IntelliVent” image: (but feel free to edit and/or just simply give credit to PNNL or Allan Tuan/PNNL) 

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USABC awards battery recycling development contract to US polytechnic

Mon, 05/24/2021 - 11:09 -- paul Crompton
USABC awards battery recycling development contract to US polytechnic

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, US, will begin a 36-month project to develop lithium-ion battery recycling technology following a $2 million contract.

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC)— a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR)— awarded the contract, which includes a 50% cost share, to fund the phase III project.

The program, which began in March, will focus on lowering the cost and improving the performance of recycled battery cathode materials relative to equivalent commercially sourced materials. 

The Phase III program will focus on a higher nickel content material (versus Phase II) while also increasing the recycled content of the recycled material. 

Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), USABC’s mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that enable widespread commercialisation in vehicle applications. 

Steve Zimmer, executive director of USCAR, said: “This battery recycling contract with WPI is part of USABC’s broad battery technology research and development program.

“Programs like this are critical to advancing the technology needed to meet both near- and long-term goals that will enable broader scale vehicle electrification.” 

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Li-Cycle boosts lithium-ion battery recycling leadership ahead of merger plans

Fri, 05/21/2021 - 09:10 -- paul Crompton
Lithium-ion battery recycler Li-Cycle Corp has appointed Carl DeLuca as general counsel and corporate secretary and Lauren Choate as VP of human resources.

Lithium-ion battery recycler Li-Cycle Corp has appointed Carl DeLuca as general counsel and corporate secretary and Lauren Choate as VP of human resources.

DeLuca (right) will lead the Canadian firm’s legal and regulatory functions in support of the company’s global expansion plans, while Choate (left) will lead human resources functions and oversee talent management and acquisition. 

Both executives will report directly to co-founder, president and chief executive officer, Ajay Kochhar.

Li-Cycle also announced that, on 30 April, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice had issued a final order approving the plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Ontario) in connection with the business combination agreement with Peridot Acquisition Corp. 

The closing of the Business Combination is expected in the second quarter of 2021 and remains subject to the approval of the shareholders of Peridot and the satisfaction or waiver of other customary closing conditions. 

Upon the closing of the Business Combination, the combined company will be named Li-Cycle Holdings Corp and will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol, “LICY.”

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EU association formed to drive the continent's lithium-ion battery industry

Fri, 05/21/2021 - 08:53 -- paul Crompton
An association dedicated to building the European Union’s (EU) position in the lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing market was formed on 7 May.

An association dedicated to building the European Union’s (EU) position in the lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing market was formed on 7 May.

The LiPLANET Network, which is running as an association in founding, aims to form a network of research pilot lines for the production of lithium battery cells.

The European Commission-funded project aims to lay the foundation for establishing the Network during the two-year Horizon 2020 program. 

LiPLANET plans to “exploit synergies between pilot line operators, identify knowledge and equipment gaps, organise joint trainings, as well collaborate with industry and academia”.

By facilitating the access to market for its stakeholders, the long-term goal is to establish Europe as an internationally competitive production site for batteries.

The association’s founding organisations are: ABEE – Avesta Battery & Energy Engineering (Belgium); AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (Austria); Battery LabFactory Braunschweig (Germany); CEA Liten (France); CIC EnergiGUNE (Spain); CIDETEC Energy Storage (Spain); Fraunhofer ISIT (Germany); and ZSW.

The Network will organise awareness workshops this year to inform participants about the ambition of the project as well as create a network of experts in the field of lithium-ion technologies.

Any pilot line interested in joining the Network has to take the LiPLANET survey and then contact info@liplanet.eu for more information. 

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Microvast reveals plans for US lithium-ion battery plant to meet EV demand

Fri, 03/05/2021 - 10:29 -- Vic

Electric vehicle battery developer Microvast has announced plans to establish a new manufacturing lithium-ion facility in Tennessee, US.

The US-based firm plans to invest $220 million to renovate and expand a facility in Clarksville to manufacture battery cells, modules and packs. 

The announcement comes two years after it entered into consultation with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a lithium-ion battery facility in the US. 

On 2 February, Microvast signed a definitive merger agreement with Tuscan Holdings to allow it to become a publicly listed company. The merger is expected to provide up to $822 million in gross cash proceeds, to fund capacity expansion and to position the company to take advantage of signed contracts worth more than $1.5 billion.

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New SVP at NanoGraf to lead development of its silicon material for lithium-ion batteries

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 10:35 -- Vic
Dr In Kim NanoGraf

Lithium-ion battery material company NanoGraf has appointed Doctor In Kim as senior vice-president of its silicon anode technology development. 

Dr. Kim will oversee the research and development arm of NanoGraf and lead the company’s team of scientists, technologists and engineers.

Dr. Kim said: “I’m excited to join a team disrupting and redefining silicon-anode battery technology as NanoGraf continues to enable and accelerate main-stream adoption of cleaner, higher performing, and more sustainable lithium-ion batteries.”

Prior to joining the NanoGraf team, Dr. Kim served as vice president of Samsung SDI in 2020, and served as vice president of Samsung SDI Korea for the Next Generation Battery Innovation Group. 

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded NanoGraf a $1.65 million grant to develop longer-lasting lithium-ion batteries to power US military equipment. 

In 2019, the U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium awarded the company $7.5 million to advance EV battery research and development. 

 
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Northvolt invests $200 million to build lithium-ion Gigafactory in Poland

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 10:27 -- Vic
Peter Carlsson, CEO Northvolt

Swedish battery developer and manufacturer Northvolt has laid out plans to build a new 50,000m2 factory in Gdańsk, Poland. 

Following their start up of a battery systems industrialisation plant in Gdańsk in 2019, Northvolt aim to deliver a project that will facilitate expansion in the manufacturing capacity of the sustainable battery solutions.

The initial phase of construction will begin in autumn, with commisioning due next year.

The first phase aims to establish an annual output of 5GWh of module packs. The second phase will potentially ramp it up to 12GWh.

The project will create 500 new jobs in the Gdańsk area across the factory expansion and an engineering R&D centre of excellence.

The new factory will receive its supply of lithium-ion cells from Northvolt Ett in Skellefteå, Sweden. In keeping with the Swedish platform, the new factory will be powered with renewable energy, including onsite renewable energy generation.

Peter Carlsson, co-founder and CEO of Northvolt, said: “Securing battery cell manufacturing capacity in Europe is key for its industrial future, but what is equally critical is the industrial capacity for integrating cells into real-world solutions. It is this that the new factory will deliver— sophisticated, sustainable energy storage systems to support the transformation of Europe’s electricity grid and its industry.”

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MoU signals intent to build a lithium-ion plant in India

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 10:16 -- Vic

Battery makers Barrel Energy and India-based Roshan Energy Technologies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop and produce lithium-ion batteries in India and North America.

US firm Barrel aims to expand into the Indian and international markets after becoming a majority stakeholder in Hyderabad-headquartered Roshan. 

Under the plans, the firms will build a lithium-ion battery plant in India before establishing a US-based manufacturing unit and a joint R&D division in conjunction with Barrels’ Nevada tech center. 

Ashok Shukla, a professor emeritus with 40 years research experience of specialised batteries and more than 350 published technical papers, is leading the Nevada team to design solutions for battery development, improvement, and recycling.

The Nevada research and technology centre was opened on 8 February, to increase Barrel’s efforts into lithium-ion battery metal recycling and potential battery development and direct metal ion extraction.

In the same week as the MoU, Barrel announced the appointment of Stuart Philip Hensman to the company’s board of directors.

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Amara Raja sets up lithium-ion cells technical hub at Tirupati

Mon, 03/01/2021 - 10:13 -- Vic
Amara Raja Tirupati

Lead battery firm Amara Raja Batteries has opened India’s first technology hub to develop lithium-ion cells, at its Tirupati facility in Andhra Pradesh. Most of India’s electric vehicle (EV) makers import cells from China.

The advanced lithium-ion technology research hub— the pilot project located at its headquarters in Tirupati— will become the country's first lithium-ion cell manufacturing facility in the private sector over the next few years, Amara Raja Batteries CEO, Samudrala Vijayanand, told Press Trust of India.

Despite pushing lithium-ion cell development, Vijayanand feels lead-acid batteries will continue to grow for at least a few more decades and that lithium cells used in electric vehicles will take time to get commercial traction. 

Electric mobility will be led by two- and three-wheelers to begin with in India, primarily because of the higher cost of ownership for four-wheeler EVs, he said.

Vijayanand expects that by 2025, the penetration of two-and three-wheelers will touch 20-25% in the country. The numbers are skewed towards three-wheelers as they are commercially more viable and such a level of penetration can give the critical mass for EV adoption.

The second phase will see the EV industry and its attendant ecosystem maturing, with passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles going electric, and this should happen during 2025-30. "As I see it, private four-wheeler adoption should begin by 2025-27," said Vijayanand.

In January 2019, Amara Raja entered into a technology transfer agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 

Under the technology transfer, ISRO will help these companies set up lithium-ion cell manufacturing units and train their staff.

Subsidies to boost development

Vijayanand also said EV development in general, and lithium-ion batteries in particular, should get a boost with government subsidies under the local production-linked incentive scheme announced last November.

The PLI scheme has earmarked Rs 18,000 crore ($2.5 billion) towards the advanced cell chemistry, which aims to bring at least 50GW of lithium-ion batteries to the market.

On the raw material availability to enable local manufacturing of lithium cells, Vijayanand said more than two-thirds of them are domestically available, only critical minerals have to be imported. For the supply of these minerals, the government is already in talks with Latin American countries and Australia.

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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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