Robots could be used to speed up material separation
Cost savings of 60% possible
U.S., UK scientists focus on different technologies
LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) – Researchers in Britain and the United States have found ways to recycle electric vehicle batteries that can drastically cut costs and carbon emissions, shoring up sustainable supplies for an expected surge in demand.
The techniques, which involve retrieving parts of the battery so they can be reused, would help the auto industry tackle criticism that even though EVs reduce emissions over their lifetime, they start out with a heavy carbon footprint of mined materials.
As national governments and regions race to secure supplies for an expected acceleration in EV demand, the breakthroughs could make valuable supplies of materials such as cobalt and nickel go further. They would also reduce dependence on China and difficult mining jurisdictions.
“We can’t recycle complex products like batteries the way we recycle other metals. Shredding, mixing up the components of a battery and pyrometallurgy destroy value,” Gavin Harper, a research fellow at the government-backed Faraday Institution in Britain, said.
Pyrometallurgy refers to the extraction of metals using high heat in blast furnaces, which analysts say is not economic.
Current recycling methods also rely on shredding the batteries into very small pieces, known as black mass, which is then processed into metals such as cobalt and nickel.
A switch to a practice known as direct recycling, which would preserve components such as the cathode and anode, could drastically reduce energy waste and manufacturing costs.
Researchers from the University of Leicester and the University of Birmingham working on the Faraday Institution’s ReLib project have found a way to use ultrasonic waves to recycle the cathode and anode without shredding and have applied for a patent.
The technology recovers the cathode powder made up of cobalt, nickel and manganese from the aluminium sheet, to which it is glued in the battery manufacture. The anode powder, which would typically be graphite, is separated from the copper sheet.
Andy Abbott, a professor of physical chemistry at the University of Leicester said separation using ultrasonic waves would result in cost savings of 60% compared with the cost of virgin material.
Compared with more conventional technology, based on hydrometallurgy, which uses liquids, such as sulphuric acid and water to extract materials, he said ultrasonic technology can process 100 times more battery material over the same period.
Abbott’s team has separated battery cells manually to test the process, but ReLib is working on a project to use robots to separate batteries and packs more efficiently.
As supplies and scrap levels take time to accrue, Abbott said he expected the technology to initially use scrap from battery manufacturing facilities as the feedstock and the recycled material would be fed back into battery production.
In the United States, a government-sponsored project at the Department of Energy called ReCell is in the final stages of demonstrating different, but also promising recycling technologies that refurbish battery cathode to make
An ambitious transit plan for the Charlotte region will cost more than city leaders estimated earlier this year.
Rail and bus rapid transit projects alone will cost $11.6 billion, a figure nestled on the high range of what a Charlotte advisory group estimated in December: somewhere between $8 billion to $12 billion, split between local and federal funding. Amanda Vandegrift, principal consultant at InfraStrategies LLC, presented an updated financial model to the Charlotte City Council on Monday.
Non-transit costs — for projects including greenways, as well as pedestrian and bicycle networks — could cost $1.9 billion, Vandegrift said.
The total price tag for now, $13.5 billion, is a preliminary assumption that could fluctuate depending on the timeline of individual transportation initiatives, federal funding grants and a controversial countywide tax, among other variables, over an 18-year construction period, she said.
City Manager Marcus Jones assured the Council that the proposed “1 cent for mobility tax” would still cover all projects within the Transformational Mobility Network, including the Red Line and Silver Line.
The countywide tax would begin in 2023, giving a buffer for the region to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Vandegrift said. Of the $11.6 billion in projected transit costs, about $7 billion would be covered by sales tax revenue, with the rest from federal grants.
The transit tax will require approval from the General Assembly, and Mecklenburg County commissioners would need to approve putting the transit tax referendum on a future ballot.
The City Council did not take action on the tax or other parts of the plan on Monday. But Council member Braxton Winston reminded his colleagues the plan has failed to gain traction in north Mecklenburg, where leaders have adamantly opposed the tax.
Red Line opening date
The LYNX Red Line commuter rail — traversing Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville and center city Charlotte — has been touted as the hallmark of the interconnected mobility network.
It’s also one the thorniest part of the transit plan. Council member Tariq Bokhari on Monday said Charlotte’s plan was “dead in the water,” after Charlotte broke trust with the surrounding towns and Raleigh in the early planning stages.
North Mecklenburg leaders remain skeptical the transportation plan could benefit their residents, after waiting years to see the Red Line come to fruition. The company that controls rail tracks that’s seen as the best option for the Red Line has not signaled its intent to cooperate with city and county leaders for shared use.
But Vandegrift said the Red Line is expected to open in 2031 and cost $674 million, according to the transportation plan’s financial model.
The LYNX Silver Line would run from Matthews to north of uptown, then westward past the airport and across the Catawba River to Gaston County. The first phase would open in 2037, with the second phase opening in 2040, Vandegrift said.
“This is not a car, this is different” is how Lynk & Co, a company spawned by Volvo and Geely, is positioning the launch of its 01 plug-in hybrid, a compact SUV built from the ground up to share. The more you share its digital key the less you pay each month, possibly even turning a profit.
It’s a bold experiment that I was able to preview in a test vehicle in Amsterdam, where Lynk & Co is staging its first salvo against a century of car ownership mentality.
Lynk & Co first announced its ambitious approach to car sharing five years ago in its home city of Gothenburg, Sweden, emboldened by studies that say cars sit unused 96 percent of the time. That’s valuable real estate that could otherwise be returned to people. So it’s with some anticipation that I set out for my week with a production 01 PHEV running pre-production sharing software.
Amsterdam was chosen as Lynk & Co’s launch city for a variety of reasons, chief among them is its multi-modal inhabitants’ intimacy with car-sharing services. My Dutch family, for example, has never owned a car, nor do most of my friends. Instead we use fleet sharing services like Greenwheels, Mywheels, or Share Now. Otherwise we use a personal car-sharing service like Snappcar when looking for somethingmoreinteresting to drive. As much as we love our electric bicycles, a car is often needed when an e-scooter, taxi, bus, or train just won’t do.
After a week of testing I’ve come away increasingly optimistic about Lynk & Co’s chances, not only to achieve its revenue goals but also its broader societal goal of making people realize that traditional ideas of car ownership, especially in densely populated cities, are woefully outdated. My optimism is fueled by three things: the company’s early success in attracting members, driving the 01 for a few hundred kilometers, and testing an early beta version of the sharing service.
A PROMISING START
You can buy a Lynk & Co 01 outright for €39,000, but most people are opting for memberships that cost €500 each month. That’s about what you’d pay each month on a four-year lease for a comparable Volvo XC40 which is built upon the same platform as the 01. Only with Lynk & Co you can cancel the agreement at any time. Better yet, you can divide the monthly fee with family and friends, or reduce it further by lending the car out to a general pool of neighbors and tourists at an hourly or daily rate, all of which Lynk & Co will facilitate (more on that later).
Membership includes 1,250km (777 miles) of driving per month with each extra kilometer costing €0.15, and unused kilometers carrying over to the next month. The €500/month fee covers insurance, warranty repairs, roadside assistance, and maintenance by Volvo’s dealer
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) – Just after 7:00 Sunday morning, Fargo Police were called to the area of 11th St. S. and 8th Ave. S. for a report of a stabbing.
Officers say they found the stabbing victim at nearby St. Anthony’s Church with a significant amount of blood on him and holding a cloth to his neck. Through further investigation, it was determined that the stabbing may have happened at 809 10th St. S. in Fargo. The man was taken to Sanford hospital for emergency surgery and officials are not sure if he will make a full recovery.
That following Monday, police continued their investigation by interviewing the victim’s brother, Abdisamad Said Muse. Court documents say Muse had been interviewed several times the day prior, and claimed that an incident did happen in a particular bedroom that caused the victim to run away. Muse then told police that a red box cutter was used in the incident and that police would find his DNA on the cutter only because he moved it after the incident happened.
Court documents say Muse originally claimed that he didn’t know what happened, but then later admitted to stabbing the victim in the throat area. Muse told police that a bicycle the victim was trying to take is was started the fight between the two.
Muse was arrested for Aggravated Assault and is currently in the Cass County Jail.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Like nearly every other industry, car dealerships and repair shops are seeing long wait times because of supply chain problems due to COVID-19, but they’re also seeing a major shortage in auto technicians.
This isn’t a salary problem, many in this industry make six figures annually.
“We are constantly in search for technicians for one of our stores and the applications are far and few between,” said Terry West, fixed operations director for Eddy’s Everything.
Part of the reason is because of the amount of training that has increased in the automotive field.
“What used to be the grease monkey and people just assume you’re a bunch of backyard mechanics and so forth, those guys are gone,” said West.
“We need people that are qualified on all makes and models as well, so that complicates our situation from needing not just a factory trained GM or Ford, technician,” said Conner Ward, service manager for Don Hattan Dealerships.
Dustin Banwart is the owner of Banter Automotive Group on West Central. He says this lack of employees slows everything down.
“We’re having issues just getting someone to hang out and vacuum out the cars so before we show them to a customer they look presentable, uphold that reputation.”
For WSU Tech, they’re training students to enter this workforce, but the number of graduates doesn’t match the level of demand from employers.
“We get people wanting to know if we have technicians for them to go out into the field,” said Roy Lawhead, instructor for WSU Tech’s Automotive services. “You could say it’s on a regular basis, weekly basis should I say.”