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lithium

Lithium NMC batteries power record-breaking flight

Wed, 08/31/2016 - 11:50 -- Paul Crompton
Lithium NMC batteries power record-breaking flight

South Korean firm Kokam’s lithium nickel manganese cobalt batteries were at the heart of record-breaking journey around the world.

Battery powered Solar Impulse 2 was the first plane to circumnavigate the globe using just solar power when it completed its journey last month.

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Chinese lithium waste is ‘horse manure crisis’ of the 1800s

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 14:07 -- Paul Crompton
Chinese lithium waste is ‘horse manure crisis’ of the 1800s

Chinese analysts have compared the growing threat of waste lithium batteries to the ‘Great Horse Manure Crisis’ that swamped the world’s cities in the late 1800s.

The 19th century crisis, caused by dung coming from the colossal number of horses that were needed for transport, led to a prediction in The Times newspaper of London that ‘in 50 years every street in the capital  will be buried under nine feet of manure’.

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Germany set to stamp out fossil fuel powered car manufacturing by 2030

Tue, 07/19/2016 - 14:03 -- Paul Crompton
Germany set to stamp out fossil fuel powered car manufacturing by 2030

An announcement by a senior German official that all new cars must be emissions-free by 2030 will give a massive boost to the lithium battery industry.

German Deputy Economy Minister Rainer Baake said combustion-engine cars will be banned as part of the country’s aim to reduce C02 emissions by 80% before 2050.

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Tadiran Rapid Response batteries to be promoted in Canada

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 16:09 -- Paul Crompton
Tadiran Rapid Response batteries to be promoted in Canada

US-based lithium battery maker Tadiran Batteries has enlisted the help of Canadian firm Acadia Lithium Inc to help it promote its ‘breakthrough in lithium chemistry’ to OEMs in Canada.

Acadia Lithium, based in Baie D’Urfe, is an applications specialist whose function will be to promote and design-in the Tadiran product line working directly with local reps and through distribution.

Tadiran’s engineers have been working for decades to develop the firm’s TRR (Tadiran rapid response) series, which they claim is the first commercially available lithium thionyl chloride (LiSOC12) battery capable of eliminating passivation effects that can hinder battery performance.

The firm says the batteries can last up to 25 years, and eliminate any drop in voltage when the battery is subjected to load, which means they are more efficient at using capacity, especially in extremely hot or cold temperatures.

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Chinese lithium-ion battery makers expect slump in profits as lithium price rises

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 15:36 -- Paul Crompton
Chinese lithium-ion battery makers expect slump in profits as lithium price rises

The rocketing price of lithium in China could cause a 5-8% drop in profits for lithium battery makers, says a director at one of China’s largest battery firms.

Chief Scientist Dai Guiping, from Chaowei Power, said that along with the rising price of lithium, other components such as separators had also gone up.

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Discovery could lead to 50% higher energy density next generation lithium-ion battery

Tue, 06/07/2016 - 14:57 -- Paul Crompton
Discovery could lead to 50% higher energy density next generation lithium-ion battery

Next generation lithium-ion batteries could use lithium rich cathodes after a discovery at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The research group, led by Gerbrand Ceder of Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division, came to the conclusion after studying how and when oxygen is active in lithium-excessive cathodes.

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Canadian firm hires lithium battery expert to drive market acceptance and licensing

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 15:13 -- Paul Crompton
Canadian firm hires lithium battery expert to drive market acceptance and licensing

It seems any battery company worth its salt these days must have a lithium expert on its books, and Canadian materials firm Nano One Materials Corp is no different.

The Vancouver based start-up hired Joe Lowry as the company’s strategic advisor, CEO Dan Blondal announced last month.

Lowry was chosen for his knowledge of the entire lithium supply chain, including cathode manufacturers, products and regulatory agencies, said a Nano One spokesman.

Lowry said he believed the company’s innovative process had the potential to be a game changer in the lithium battery market.

“The technology has been shown to improve cost and performance across the spectrum of lithium ion battery cathode technologies and may enable the use of lower cost lithium raw materials,” he said.

Lowry had been in talks with the firm since January and made his decision to join the firm after a visit to its laboratory facility in Burnaby.

Nano One’s President John Lando said: “This visit solidified strong interest from both sides to form an advisory arrangement.

“I am confident that Joe will be instrumental in working with our executive in attracting strategic partners as we move forward with commercialising and licensing our patented technology.”

Lowry formed Global Lithium LLC as an advisory firm in 2012 after 20 years in the industry, including more than 15 years in the Japan and China markets.

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Don’t die… just get bought!

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 12:49 -- Paul Crompton

Now is a great time to sell your battery manufacturing business— to an oil company.

The age of oil isn’t over yet but those in fossil fuels know it’s coming, so now is the time to diversify. Some have been doing it for years— BP for example— an early entrant into solar energy.

So it’s hardly any surprise to see that SAFT, the French battery specialist,  just got snapped up by Total, the multinational but French rooted oil and gas corporation.

It only seems like yesterday that SAFT was trying to wriggle free from Alcatel, the French telecom player, back in the late 90s. The SAFT management were frustrated, merely being just a division in a business which was expanding in all directions— internet, cellular and the term ‘energy storage’ wasn’t really in executive vernacular. It is now.

SAFTs specialist lithium products have proven too costly for the hybrid and EV market but acceptable for the military and aerospace markets.

And while the company had at least one interesting liason with Johnson Controls, it seems to have been a little lack lustre of late— and maybe a little rudderless following the unexpected death of John Searle, its former chairman and highly energetic commercial manager, in 2014.

Maybe there’s a lesson here— that if battery companies are really going to reap the rewards of the energy storage market, they are going to have be part of bigger energy businesses with access to capital and management resources they sorely lack.

If you look east, the big players in batteries, LG Samsung and Panasonic are all part of much larger concerns in the electrical and electronics field.

Small is beautiful up to a point. But if energy storage is really going to change the world it needs to be part of something bigger. That might be one way that lead acid industry gets itself away from the abyss it could be heading for.

Consortium buys SPG mill to produce anode-ready materials for Li-ion batteries

Thu, 04/14/2016 - 13:04 -- Paul Crompton
Consortium buys SPG mill to produce anode-ready materials for Li-ion batteries

A new consortium has announced it will buy a mill that will produce anode-ready spherical graphite (SPG) for lithium batteries in the US.

The group has announced it will buy a micronising and spheronising mill to produce the material, which is critical for lithium-ion battery anode materials.

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Chinese lead-acid firms embrace lithium with a vengeance

Mon, 04/04/2016 - 15:00 -- Paul Crompton
Chinese lead-acid firms embrace lithium with a vengeance

Demand for electric vehicles has prompted Chinese lead-acid battery producers to embrace lithium— including two of the country’s biggest firms.

A plethora of lead-acid firms are adjusting their business model to include lithium-ion, with firms doubling lithium-ion output or building lithium battery plants in China, the Shanghai Metal Markets reports.

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