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Lead battery recovery campaign rolls out in Alaska

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 15:09 -- John Shepherd
Lead battery recovery campaign rolls out in Alaska

An initiative to recover and recycle more than 42,000 pounds (19,050kgs) of lead-acid batteries from remote communities in Alaska has been launched by the US-based Responsible Battery Coalition (RBC).

The non-profit RBC, has teamed up with the Solid Waste Alaska Taskforce (SWAT) for the collection this summer from the first 12 of 35 communities participating in the two-year pilot programme.

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Recycling key to cutting battery storage cost, Argonne chief says

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 11:34 -- John Shepherd
Recycling key to cutting battery storage cost, Argonne chief says

The US should take urgent action to cut battery costs and reduce dependency on other nations for raw materials in order to expand the use of energy storage systems, legislators have been told.

George Crabtree (pictured), director at Argonne National Laboratory's Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee countries such as China had “taken a very deliberate and strategic action” to establish battery supply chains with minerals such as cobalt and lithium for batteries, while the US had not.

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Audi unveils second-life BESS in Berlin

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 11:32 -- John Shepherd
Audi unveils second-life BESS in Berlin

German car giant Audi has opened a 1.9MWh second-life battery energy storage system (BESS) in Berlin as part of a research project.

Audi said the facility on the EUREF campus— a “climate-neutral-powered” centre for start-ups and innovation— uses lithium-ion batteries from development vehicles to test “interaction scenarios between electric cars and the power grid”. 

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Umicore tightens cobalt supply grip with Glencore deal

Wed, 05/29/2019 - 10:28 -- John Shepherd
Umicore tightens cobalt supply grip with Glencore deal

Swiss mining company Glencore has signed a deal to supply cobalt hydroxide for Umicore’s battery materials operations.

The long-term revolving agreement comes just days after Umicore announced it was expanding with its planned acquisition of Freeport Cobalt’s cobalt refining and cathode precursor activities in Finland.

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Aqua Metals upbeat on shares offer despite Q1 loss

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:05 -- John Shepherd
Aqua Metals upbeat on shares offer despite Q1 loss

US lead-acid battery recycler Aqua Metals, which posted a first-quarter net loss of US$11.7 million, said it intends to offer and sell shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering. 

The loss reflected several non-cash items, including expenses related to the firm’s agreement with the US arm of France’s transnational Veolia group to operate and manage its AquaRefining plant in Nevada.

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Researchers hail improved recycling process for LIB cathodes

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 17:22 -- John Shepherd
Researchers hail improved recycling process for LIB cathodes

Researchers at the University of California San Diego say they have improved the safety of a recycling process that regenerates degraded cathodes from spent lithium-ion batteries. 

The research is part of a larger effort under the US ReCell Center initiative to promote ithium-ion battery recycling.

Project leader Zheng Chen (pictured), a professor of nanoengineering affiliated with the Sustainable Power and Energy Center at UC San Diego, said: “Due to the rapid growth of electric vehicle markets, the worldwide manufacturing capacity of lithium-ion batteries is expected to reach hundreds of gigawatt hours per year in the next five years.”

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Tianneng go-ahead for batteries spin-off

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 16:51 -- John Shepherd
Tianneng go-ahead for batteries spin-off

Financial regulators in China have given Tianneng Energy Technology the green light to spin-off its batteries division to “expand and transform” its lead-acid and lithium-ion manufacturing operations.

Tianneng said the spin-off would focus on R&D, manufacture, sales and “ancillary services” for lead-acid, lithium-ion and other “new energy batteries”.

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Finnish partners promote EV battery materials recycling

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 10:54 -- Hugh Finzel
Finnish partners promote EV battery materials recycling

Finnish companies Fortum and Crisolteq have teamed up to launch a materials recovery process claimed to make more than 80% of electric vehicle (EV) batteries recyclable.

Power company Fortum said the technology uses “a low-CO2 hydrometallurgical process”, developed by metal recycling services firm Crisolteq, to recover scarce battery metals such as cobalt, nickel, manganese and lithium.

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Study slams EU on lithium recycling and praises 'climate-friendly' lead

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

More than half of Europe’s used batteries “disappear” without proper treatment because of “outdated” recycling rules and inadequate targets for collecting lithium-ion batteries, according to a damning report.

The study criticises the European Union’s Batteries Directive for lacking “a target or provisions for a monitoring system” to keep track of uncollected batteries— which are said to be fuelling health and safety fears by being dumped with household waste.

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Monbat drops plans to acquire control of Assad

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

Bulgarian lead-acid battery manufacturer Monbat has dropped plans to buy a majority stake in Tunisian lead firm Assad.

The decision to scrap the deal, announced last year, came amid reports of an alleged pending legal case concerning the land on which Assad built its production plant— and concern that Monbat would be unable to retain control of an Assad subsidiary in Algeria because of proceedings in that country.

Monbat declined to comment in detail, but a spokesperson said: “In the course of the final stage of the due diligence of L’accumulateur Tunisiene Assad, there were subsequent matters disclosed which are challenging the originally expected value creation and are increasing Monbat’s level of enterprise risk.”

Other projects being financed by Monbat’s recent corporate bond issue are under way and an update will be issued to investors in due course, the Sofia-based company said in a filing with Bulgaria’s Financial Supervision Commission.

Monbat said it would “sustain its investment selectivity and focus on those business projects in the current pipeline, which provide the best match between return and operational risk”.

Assad, founded in 1974, designs, manufacturers, distributes and recycles lead-acid batteries for applications, including automotive, marine, solar, industry and telecoms.

Assad has reported a combined annual production capacity of 1.2 million batteries. The firm’s recycling arm was launched in 2002 to recycle around 10,000 tons of used batteries from the Tunisian market each year.

Monbat was founded in 1959, privatised in 1998 and is now a leading European battery producer. The company has production and recycling plants in three countries and exports worldwide.

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