Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Faraday Institution develops ultrasonic recycling method

Faraday Institution researchers working on the recycling of lithium-ion batteries at the Universities of Leicester and Birmingham have developed a new method to recover materials from end-of-life EV batteries. The new process uses ultrasonic waves to separate valuable material from the electrodes. The researchers say it delivers a higher purity of recovered materials compared to current separation methods.

The team developed an ultrasonic delamination technique that blasts the active materials from the electrodes, leaving virgin aluminum or copper. This process proved highly effective in removing graphite and lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxides (NMC). Materials recovered using the technique were found to have higher purity than those recovered using conventional recycling approaches, and are potentially easier to use in new electrode manufacture. The approach adapts technology in widespread use in the food preparation industry.

Current delamination recycling techniques use concentrated acids in a batch immersion process. The new ultrasonic technique is a continuous-feed process that uses water or dilute acids as the solvent, so the technique is greener and less expensive to operate. It can delaminate 100 times more electrode material in a given time and volume than existing batch delamination techniques. The research team has tested the technology on the four most common battery types and find that it performs with the same efficiency in each case.

Current recycling methods for lithium-ion battery recycling typically feed end-of-life batteries into a shredder or high-temperature reactor, and use a complex set of physical and chemical processes to produce usable materials streams of the lithium, cobalt, nickel and copper they contain. Such pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical recycling routes are energy-intensive and inefficient.

The disassembly of lithium-ion batteries has been shown to recover a high yield (around 80% of the original material) in a purer state than was possible using shredded material.

“This technique works in the same way as a dentist’s ultrasonic descaler, breaking the adhesive bonds between the coating layer and the substrate,” comments Professor Andrew Abbott of the University of Leicester. “It is likely that the initial use of the technology will use production scrap from battery manufacturing facilities as the feedstock and feed recycled material straight back into the battery production line, possibly at the same site.”

Source: The Faraday Institution


Shell to install 800 chargers at Waitrose UK supermarkets

Oil companies (we’ll consider using the term “energy companies” when products other than petroleum make up at least half their revenues) are starting to invest in EV charging, and Shell is at the forefront of this trend. Now the company is expanding its partnership with the UK supermarket chain Waitrose.

The companies are targeting the installation of 800 Shell Recharge public charging points at up to 100 Waitrose locations across the UK by 2025. Each site is expected to have six 22 kW and two 50 kW fast charging points.

EV charging is expected to debut at the first Waitrose shop early next year. This will represent the first foray into destination charging for the oil giant’s Shell Recharge-branded network, which it hopes to expand to 5,000 charge points at gas stations (forecourts to our British mates) and other locations by 2025. (Shell has been offering DC fast charging at some of its retail sites in the Netherlands and the UK for some years, and it also has ownership interests in a couple of public charging operators.)

“We want to make EV charging as hassle-free as possible and support our customers wherever they want to charge,” said Shell UK Retail General Manager Bernadette Williamson.

“This is an important partnership for Waitrose and means we can offer even greater convenience to more of our customers,” said Waitrose Executive Director James Bailey.

MORE: Oil companies buying up EV charging networks: Shell acquires ubitricity

Source: Electric Drives


Daikin’s new AC refrigerant features lower boiling point, could boost EV range

Japanese air conditioner manufacturer Daikin Industries has developed a refrigerant specifically for EVs, and plans to commercialize the product by 2025, according to a report by Nikkei Asia.

At present, the most common refrigerant for use in EV air conditioners is R-1234yf, sold under the names Opteon YF by Chemours and as Solstice YF by Honeywell. Daikin’s new refrigerant has a boiling point of about -40° C, 10 to 15 degrees lower than that of R-1234yf. This reduces the power required for compression, which Daikin

says could significantly extend an EV’s range.

R-1234yf can cost up to $270 per vehicle, according to Daikin. The company will “consider the price of the new refrigerant while looking at market prices.” 

SAE International will verify the performance and safety of the new refrigerant under operating conditions. Daikin is not currently in the automotive market, but anticipates that supply chains will change dramatically with the shift to EVs.

Source: Nikkei Asia


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Mercedes-Benz & GROB Launch Battery cooperation

Mercedes-Benz is intensifying its cooperation with GROB-WERKE in the field of manufacturing technology, expanding its production capacity and know-how for next-generation batteries. Stuttgart/Mindelheim – Local battery production is a key differentiator for Mercedes-Benz and its electric push. The company’s global battery production network will include nine battery factories on three continents underscoring the company’s ambition […]

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Vene Rides, the MicroEV Store, Opens 2nd Location With Expansion to Chicago

 Vene Rides was launched last July by HOPR, an established micromobility company. After a successful year of operating in Miami, Vene Rides is now expanding into Chicago. The past few years, we have seen explosive growth with shared electric bikes and scooters and mass adoption by millions of people in hundreds of cities across the globe. As […]

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