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Energy Trends And Scope: Primobius to execute New battery Recycling plant at Mercedes, Germany

Welcome to Energy Scope and Trends, a weekly editorial that aims to keep you informed about the latest news and developments in the energy industry in bits.

In this week's Trends and Scope, we take a look at Some Key News in the Battery Industry.

A Special Report from the UNCTAD that highlights the role of the African continent in the Global Energy transition Journey

German auto giant Mercedes Benz has awarded a major contract to a joint venture of SMS Group and Neometals for the construction of its Shredder plant for Recycling used Batteries.

Meanwhile, Sweden Battery Maker NorthVolt has recorded a Major breakthrough following the announcement of the production of its First Energy Storage System in Poland.

Also, British Auto-maker Jaguar Land Rover Entered into a strategic partnership with Wykes Engineering that would see it create a New Renewable energy storage system from used Car Batteries.

While Leading Chinese Battery Maker CATL intensifies its push for global dominance in the Battery race, with the launch of its fast charging Lithium phosphate battery

Primobius to execute New battery Recycling plant at Mercedes, Germany

Primobius, a joint venture between SMS Group and Neometals, is a company that specializes in recycling lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles and other sources. The company has recently secured a contract with Mercedes Benz, one of the world’s leading car manufacturers, to build a shredder plant for lithium-ion battery processing at the Mercedes plant in Kuppenheim, Germany. The shredder plant will use a patented process to separate the valuable metals and materials from the batteries, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, graphite, and electrolyte. These materials will then be reused for the production of new batteries, reducing the environmental impact and the dependence on raw material imports.

The shredder plant is expected to have a processing capacity of ten tons per day, which translates to 2,500 tons per year. This amount of recycled materials could potentially be used to produce 50,000 battery modules, which are the basic units that make up a battery pack. These battery modules will be installed in future Mercedes vehicles, such as the EQS electric sedan and the EQC electric SUV. The project is expected to commence operations in the first quarter of 2024, making it one of the first of its kind in Europe.

The contract between Primobius and Mercedes Benz is a significant milestone for both companies, as well as for the battery recycling industry as a whole. It demonstrates the feasibility and the benefits of a circular economy for lithium-ion batteries, which are expected to grow in demand as more electric vehicles hit the road. It also showcases the innovation and the collaboration between German and Austrian companies in advancing the green mobility sector.

Africa's Potential as a Global Supplier of Critical Minerals Identified By UNCTAD

Africa has emerged as a global key player in the supply chain for critical minerals. This is according to a new report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which indicated that the African Continent has the potential to become a major actor in the global supply chain for critical minerals.

The report made available this August, cited that the abundance of Critical minerals and metals vital to technology-intensive industries and the energy transition, which includes: aluminium, cobalt, copper, lithium and manganese are richly found in Africa, thereby providing a new vesta of regional market opportunities for businesses and industries that are seeking to diversify and strengthen their supply chain relationships.

This is coming as key actors and stakeholders are looking to strengthen the resilience of their existing supply chains through the diversification of their sources. An avenue that is likely to create opportunities for African economies to deepen their involvement in the global supply chains.

At the moment Africa accounts for 48% of global Cobalt, 47.6% of global Manganese reserves, and close to 15% of Copper and 5% of Lithium reserves, all of which are essential in the global energy transition, thereby giving the African Continent a key position.

NorthVolt Produces its First Energy Storage System in Poland

NorthVolt Battery is a Swedish company that aims to produce high-quality and sustainable lithium-ion batteries for various applications, such as electric vehicles, grid storage, and industrial equipment. The company has recently announced the launch of its first battery storage system for stationary energy storage systems (ESS) from its DWA plant in Poland. The battery storage system is designed to provide reliable and flexible power solutions for grid operators, utilities, and renewable energy producers. The battery storage system can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The launch of the battery storage system is a significant achievement for NorthVolt Battery, as it marks the first time that the company has delivered a product from its DWA plant in Poland. The DWA plant is a state-of-the-art facility that produces battery modules and packs from the battery cells that are developed and manufactured by NorthVolt Battery in other locations. The DWA plant has a production capacity of 5 GWh per year, which is expected to increase to 12 GWh per year by 2024.

In addition to launching its first battery storage system, NorthVolt Battery has also announced a $1.2 billion financing that will be used to realize its expansion plans for the rest of Europe and North America. The financing will enable the company to scale up its production capacity, research and development, and recycling capabilities. The financing will also support the company’s ongoing factory projects, such as the NorthVolt Ett Gigafactory in Sweden and the Revult Gigascale recycling plant.

The NorthVolt Ett Gigafactory is one of the largest battery factories in Europe, with a planned production capacity of 40 GWh per year by 2024. The factory uses 100% renewable energy and incorporates advanced automation and digitalization technologies. The factory produces battery cells for various applications, such as electric vehicles, grid storage, and industrial equipment. The factory also hosts the NorthVolt Labs, a research and development centre that focuses on innovation and optimization of battery materials, processes, and designs.

The Revult Gigascale recycling plant is a project that aims to create a circular economy for lithium-ion batteries. The plant will use a proprietary process to recover up to 95% of the valuable metals and materials from end-of-life batteries, such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite. These materials will then be reused for the production of new batteries, reducing the environmental impact and the dependence on raw material imports. The plant is expected to commence operations later this 2023.

Jaguar Land Rover creates New Renewable energy storage system from used Car Batteries

Reports from Batteries News have Hinted at a partnership between British auto-maker Jaguar Land Rover and Wykes Engineering Ltd a key player in the renewable energy sector to develop one of the largest energy storage systems in the UK to utilize solar and wind power via second-life Jaguar I-PAce batteries.

According to Wykes Engineering, a single BESS uses 30-second-life I-PACE Batteries, and can store up to 2.5MWH of Energy at Full Capacity.

The batteries supplied have been taken from prototype and engineering test vehicles, and JLR aims to supply enough batteries to store a total of 7.5MWh of energy – enough to power 750 homes for a day – by the end of 2023.  After this point, more containers can be created to house additional second-life batteries removed from used production vehicles in the future. 

Battery storage systems like this are critical to decarbonising the Grid, as they can deal with rapid peaks in demand, and maximise solar and wind energy capture during sunny or windy conditions for use when needed.   As part of the technical collaboration, Wykes Engineering and JLR have achieved seamless integration, with no need for additional manufacturing steps or the removal of battery modules. The batteries are simply removed from the Jaguar I-PACE and slotted into racks in the containers on-site, helping to maximise the sustainability of the project.

The partnership represents an important step in JLR’s adoption of circular economy principles, part of the business strategy to achieve carbon net zero by 2039. 

CATL Launches Its Fastest Charging LFP Battery

CATL, a Chinese company that is the world’s largest producer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, has announced the launch of its fast-charging lithium-ion phosphate or LFP battery that can achieve a long driving range in a short time. The new battery, named Shenxing, which means “divine star” in Chinese, is capable of running 400 km (248 miles) on a 10-minute charge. This means that the battery can provide enough power for a typical daily commute with just one quick stop at a charging station.

The Shenxing battery is due for mass production by the end of 2023, and electric vehicles equipped with it are expected to hit the market within the first quarter of 2024, according to insights from Gao Han, the chief technology officer of CATL. The battery uses a LFP chemistry, which is known for its high safety, low cost, and long cycle life. However, LFP batteries usually have lower energy density and power output than other types of lithium-ion batteries, such as those using nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) or nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) chemistries. To overcome this challenge, CATL has developed a series of innovations, such as improving the electrode materials, optimizing the cell structure, and enhancing the thermal management system. These innovations enable the Shenxing battery to achieve a high energy density of 240 Wh/kg and a high power output of 6C.

With this move, CATL hopes to maintain its position as industry leader, amid fierce competition from its biggest Chinese rival BYD, which also produces LFP batteries for electric vehicles. CATL also faces pressure from its clients, such as Tesla, Volkswagen, and Toyota, who are looking for lower-priced products that can meet their performance and quality standards. By launching the Shenxing battery, CATL aims to offer a competitive and attractive product that can satisfy the needs and expectations of both its customers and the end users. The Shenxing battery is expected to be a game-changer for the electric vehicle industry, as it can reduce the charging time and increase the driving range of electric vehicles, making them more convenient and appealing to consumers.

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