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North America

Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle collaborate to expand recycling in North America

Thu, 06/03/2021 - 14:01 -- Paul Crompton
Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle collaborate to expand recycling in North America

Ultium Cells has signed an agreement with Canada-based firm Li-Cycle to recycle up to 100% of the material scrap from its lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing. 

Ultium, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solution, will recycle battery materials, including cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum. 

The new scrap recycling process will begin later this year. 

Around 95% of the recovered materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries, say Ultium.

The battery materials will be recycled using Li-Cycle’s hydrometallurgical process.

GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its global manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration by 2025; since 2013, GM has recycled, or reused, all returned battery packs, with most  GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.

Ultium Cells aims to mass-produce Ultium battery cells, with GM and LG Energy Solution investing $2.3 billion.

Ultium Cells’ plant in Lordstown, Ohio, will have annual capacity of more than 30GWh when completed. 

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Lead-acid battery formation firm Inbatec’s new global VP to boost presence in the Americas

Mon, 01/04/2021 - 11:57 -- Paul Crompton

German lead-acid battery formation company Inbatec has appointed Nick Hennen as global vice-president of sales and business development to advance and increase business in North and South America.

Hennen, who will be located in Missouri, US, will focus on expanding the German firm’s reach as well as assisting its sister company Kustan in expanding its sales. 

Hennen has been in the battery industry for more than 25 years, initially as a sales engineer with Bitrode— specialising in non-automotive technologies such as lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride— and most recently as VP of Americas & global business development sales at Digatron.

Inbatec's managing director, Christian Papmahl, said: “I have known Nick for many years and understand his knowledge of battery production.

“More importantly though, he is well-respected with a large network and has a global understanding of all battery technologies. We are ready to take the next step and coordinate sales and growth on that level.

“We think Nick’s background across all types of battery production and end user applications brings a new perspective to our companies.

“In the short-term, we want to be more in touch with our customers in North America, but looking to a strategy of growing opportunities in India, Southeast Asia and China very quickly. 

“A lot of exciting things are going to happen with both Inbatec and Kustan over the next few years, and Nick will lead many of these efforts.”

Nick went to the University of Missouri and has a degree in Electrical Engineering. Later he achieved an executive level MBA from the Olin School at Washington University, St. Louis. 

Most of his career has been focused on battery formation including lead-acid, lithium and other technologies. He also has been involved in several stationary energy storage projects in the US and South America, primarily for electrical grid usage.

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Exide files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as it looks to value-maximise sale of its businesses

Tue, 05/19/2020 - 17:00 -- Paul Crompton

US lead-acid battery maker Exide Technologies has agreed to sell its EMEA and Asia Pacific business and plans to sell its North America interest as it faces down its third Chapter 11 crisis in two decades.

The announcements come as the company and some of its US subsidiaries filed voluntary Chapter 11 petition of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

The Georgia-headquartered firm began voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings to facilitate the sale of its North American operations.

In a letter to its suppliers on 19 May, the firm said it had entered into an agreement to sell the EMEA and Asia Pacific business to an ad-hoc group of its noteholders.

The EMEA and South Pacific business is not included in the Chapter 11 proceedings and continues to operate as a stand-alone company independent from Exide Americas.

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Firm reveals plans for Africa’s first lithium-ion gigafactory to supply the energy storage and EV markets

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:56 -- Paul Crompton

With a raw battery materials supply to rival anywhere in the world, Africa seems the perfect place to build a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant, yet North America, Europe and Asia have been the locations of choice— until now.

The Megamillion Energy Company aims to be Africa’s first large-scale producer of lithium-ion batteries and plans to build a 32GWh per year facility by 2028 for both the energy storage and electric vehicle markets.

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Flow battery firm headed for Canadian stock market

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 10:17 -- Hugh Finzel

Vancouver-based flow battery manufacturer MGX Renewables expects to list its shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) after receiving conditional approval to do so.

MGX Minerals’ (MGXM) subsidiary ZincNyx was renamed MGX Renewables (MGXR) in 2018 and a plan of arrangement was unveiled to spin out 40% of the common shares of MGXR.

MGXR’s modular zinc-air flow batteries are targeted for long-duration energy storage and deliver power ranging from 20kW to 50MW, with scalable capacity of 120kWh to 1GW.

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Navitas to expand production in Michigan

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 12:09 -- Hugh Finzel
Navitas Starlifter battery

US battery firm Navitas is expanding production of its Starlifter line of lithium-ion forklift batteries from a new manufacturing facility in Michigan.

Navitas has secured a 100,000 sq ft building to boost production by an additional 5,000 systems annually, in line with the company’s reported “almost 200% year-over-year growth in revenues”.  

The new facility is near Navitas’ existing 48,000 sq ft R&D and manufacturing facility in Ann Arbor.

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Testing begins at American Manganese recycling plant

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

American Manganese (AM) has reported reaching a “great milestone” in its work towards “a complete lithium-ion battery recycling process” by beginning operation of its five stage pilot plant operation in Canada.

AM’s processing partner Kemetco Research has started processing a select sample of cathode scrap material at AM’s lithium-ion recycling pilot plant in British Columbia.

The cathode scrap material is being processed through stages 1 and 2 of the pilot plant, which will see the sample undergo pre-treatment and then leaching.

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Wirtz invests in ZAF’s ‘lead battery disruptor’ tech

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
NiZn battery§

US lead-acid battery equipment company Wirtz Manufacturing has made an undisclosed investment in nickel-zinc developer ZAF Energy Systems.

Wirtz said the move would allow ZAF to build a full production line at its facility in Joplin, in the US state of Missouri— “expanding its manufacturing capacity to thousands of batteries per month”.

Funds and equipment from the investment will be used to expand ZAF’s nickel-zinc batteries globally and demonstrate the first ever prismatic high-volume nickel-zinc (NiZn) process, Wirtz said.

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Canada Rolls out expansion funding for lead-acid

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
James Surrette (right) with local MP Bill Casey

Canadian deep cycle lead-acid battery maker Surrette is expanding its production facility in Nova Scotia, to “boost its global competitiveness and spur business growth”.

The 25,000 sq. ft. expansion to the Surrette Battery Company’s Springhill plant will be accompanied by the incorporation of “advanced robotics and automation” at its production facility.

Contrary to many wider fears of the undesirable effects of automation, Surrette’s actions will cause them to hire an additional 18 “highly-skilled workers”, taking their total roll-call to 100.

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Study ponders lithium industry future for Quebec

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Sarah Houde

A study has been launched into the development of Canada’s Quebec province as a manufacturing and commercial hub for the lithium-ion battery industry.

The province’s electric and smart transportation organisation, Propulsion Quebec, said the initiative would “analyse opportunities Quebec could seize in connection with the manufacturing steps of components and battery cells and the recycling of batteries”.

Propulsion Quebec’s executive director Sarah Houde (pictured) said the study “will identify the concrete actions to be implemented in order to capitalise on the development of this promising niche and the province's important assets”.

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