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Firms announce collaboration to develop US battery-grade lithium supply chain

Mon, 06/21/2021 - 08:15 -- Paul Crompton
Firms announce collaboration to develop US battery-grade lithium supply chain

Energy technology firm Schlumberger New Energy and Panasonic Energy of North America, a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, have entered into a collaboration agreement to mine lithium in the US.

The agreement covers the validation and optimisation of a lithium extraction and production process used by Schlumberger New Energy at its NeoLith Energy pilot plant in Nevada. 

Panasonic will provide its guidance to validate and optimise the lithium material for battery-grade consumption. 

NeoLith uses a differentiated direct lithium extraction (DLE) process to produce high-purity, battery-grade lithium material while reducing the production time to a few weeks. 

The pilot plant is located 200 miles from Panasonic’s large-scale advanced battery manufacturing operation in Sparks, Nevada.

NeoLith objective will be to pump brine from the subsurface, extract more than 90% of the dissolved lithium, and pump more than 85% of the brine back to the subsurface in an environmentally safe manner. 

In addition to maximising the reinjection of the brine, the ultimate goal is to eliminate the need for any fresh water from an external source and reduce the environmental impact.

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Tesla air quality fine as authority notes 33 violations at Fremont plant

Wed, 05/19/2021 - 09:06 -- Paul Crompton
Electric vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla must pay a $1 million fine over air quality violations at its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, US.

Electric vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla must pay a $1 million fine over air quality violations at its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, US.

The fine from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) includes Tesla having to install a solar roof project and implement a comprehensive environmental management system at the plant.

Tesla must also fund a community microgrid, pairing a two-powerpack storage system with up to 160kW solar electric system. 

The settlement covers 33 notices of violation that the Air District issued to Tesla. 

The violations included: emissions exceeding Tesla’s permit limits, installing or modifying equipment without proper permits, failure to conduct required emissions testing, failure to maintain records and failure to report information to the Air District in a timely manner. 

Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District, said: “This settlement requires Tesla’s compliance with Air District regulations at its Fremont facility and demonstrates the Air District’s continuing efforts to ensure strict compliance with air pollution regulations, while seeking mutually beneficial solutions for the community.

“As part of this settlement, Tesla has agreed to implement a community microgrid project, which leverages the company’s technological expertise in developing next generation power here in the Bay Area.” 

The comprehensive environmental management system will track all applicable environmental requirements and ensure that the company’s managers are trained on what is needed to comply with them. 

This environmental management system is designed to ensure that Tesla remains in full compliance going forward. 

Tesla has already begun implementing such a system, but today’s settlement agreement will make this a legally binding and enforceable commitment. 

All the violations that led to this settlement have been corrected and are back in compliance. 

Last November, BEST reported how a report filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ending 30 September, 2020, showed Tesla’s subsidiary in Germany has been ordered to pay a €12 million ($14 million) fine imposed by the Umweltbundesamt (the German Federal Environment Agency) for alleged non-compliance of ‘take-back obligations with respect to end-of-life battery products’. 

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Lithium-ion battery recycler to produce black mass at second North America plant

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 09:53 -- Paul Crompton

Lithium-ion battery recycler facility Li-Cycle has opened a second plant to produce black mass for the battery industry in New York, US.

The Canadian firm’s Spoke 2 facility in Eastman Business Park in Rochester will produce an intermediate mixed battery material product (black mass) from all types of used lithium-ion batteries.

The facility has the capacity to process up to 5,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries per year.

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MoU paves way for residential and small-scale VRFB deployment in Australia

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 12:52 -- Paul Crompton

Australian Vanadium (AVL) has signed two memoranda of understanding (MoU) in the past few weeks to supply vanadium redox flow battery makers with material from its planned Gabanintha Project in the US.

Both MOUs establish off take deals to support deployment of Canadian firm Enerox’s CellCube system and China’s Gui Zhou Collect Energy Century Science and Technology’s vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) on the Austrlaian market.

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Zinc hybrid ESS firm secures 1.5GWh of orders as US states tackle security of supply concerns

Thu, 09/03/2020 - 10:48 -- Paul Crompton

Energy storage system maker Eos Energy Storage has received 1.5GWh of orders for its zinc hybrid cathode battery systems in two US states.

The systems will be manufactured in Pittsburgh, US, by Hi-Power— the firm’s joint venture manufacturing facility co-owned with Holtec International.

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LS Power nears completion of world’s largest lithium-ion ESS

Fri, 08/21/2020 - 11:54 -- Paul Crompton

Investment and development firm LS Power is set to complete the largest battery energy storage project in the world— the 250MW Gateway Energy Storage project in California, US.

The Gateway project, located in the East Otay Mesa community in San Diego County, is due to reach 250MW by the end of the month— it sits at 230MW today.

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Novonix teams with Canada university to manufacture advanced lithium-ion battery cathode material

Thu, 06/25/2020 - 13:04 -- Paul Crompton

Novonix has manufactured single crystal NMC lithium-ion battery cathode material in partnership with the Obrovac Research Group at Dalhousie University, Canada.

The battery material was created using the Canadian firm’s proprietary Dry Particle Microgranulation (DPMG) technique the company launched in May.

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Tesla signs three-year pricing and purchase volume deal with battery cell maker Panasonic

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 11:17 -- Paul Crompton

Tesla has signed a three-year pricing deal with Japan’s Panasonic Corp relating to the manufacture and supply of 2170 lithium-ion battery cells manufactured at its gigafactory in Nevada, US.

The electric vehicle and energy storage system maker made the announcement on 10 June.

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Microporous triples lead-acid battery separator capacity with state-of-the-art production line

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 12:41 -- Paul Crompton

Lead-acid battery separator firm Microporous has opened a ‘state-of-the-art’ production line that triples its polyethylene (PE) separator capacity in the US.

Commissioned in March, the advanced lead-acid battery separator manufacturing facility include innovative features and the latest technologies available in the industry

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Lead-acid battery recycler Quemetco fined $600,000 and forced to reduce operations following for emissions violations

Fri, 05/15/2020 - 10:28 -- Paul Crompton

Lead-acid battery recycler Quemetco has been fined $600,000 and forced to temporarily reduce operations due to emissions violations at its facility in the City of Industry, California, US.

The fine follows inspections and testing conducted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) between 2017 and 2019.

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