Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 22

CLOSING THE LOOP ON
EV BATTERY RECYCLING
active material and anode copper foil, enough to supply a million EVs.
The hope is to expand up to 500 gigawatt-hours of these materials
annually by 2030-sufficient for five million EVs.
The company operates a 175-acre campus in Nevada, close to
California's large EV market. Production of the anode copper foil will
begin in Nevada at the end of 2022, with Panasonic's Gigafactory the
first customer. A partnership with Ford was announced in 2022, and
the company also has agreements with Volvo, Proterra and Panasonic.
In 2022, Redwood linked up with Toyota, initially focusing on end-oflife
solutions for the hybrid batteries for vehicles like the Prius.
Also in 2022, Volkswagen Group of America said it was partnering with
Redwood to recycle batteries from Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi vehicles.
Steven Rufo, VW's director of group service and technology, said
that Redwood has already begun recycling the company's packs and
modules, and that the pickup will be free for its dealer network. " The volume
is still very low, " he said. " Our plan was to sign with Redwood before
we ramped up so we could learn about what worked and what didn't. So
far, we're seeing mostly defective modules replaced under warranty.
Complete pack replacements are likely to be kind of rare. "
Rufo said VW is looking for more efficient and less-expensive
transportation solutions, because battery modules get classified as
Class 9 hazardous waste and can't be moved without special handling.
" Maybe we need to be collecting the material at our parts depots
until it can be transported in bulk, " he said.
Alexis Georgeson, VP of communications and government relations
at Redwood, said that the company is not primarily a recycler. " Our
core business is creating anode and cathode material, " she said. " We're
not selling black mass; we're using it as a feedstock for ourselves. "
Georgeson stresses the need for a closed-loop domestic production
Mining for Domestic Supplies - The Race is On
The race is on to develop U.S. domestic supplies
of the metals that go into EV batteries.
Currently, three companies are working in
California's Salton Sea to develop lithium as a
byproduct of the existing geothermal production
there. At one time the industry jettisoned
lithium as a waste product but, with
international prices for the metal soaring and
automakers asking for less-problematic
sourcing, the resource is under intensive development.
Most EV batteries use lithium
from water-intensive processes in dry regions
of South America, so California's supply could
be far more environmentally friendly.
The three companies are Controlled
Thermal Resources (CTR, with backing from
GM and a purchase agreement from
Stellantis), Berkshire Hathaway Energy
Renewables, and EnergySource Minerals.
None currently are producing commercial
amounts of lithium, but EnergySource and
CTR plan to be operational and delivering
lithium hydroxide as early as 2024.
EnergySource is based at an existing geothermal
operation and is permitted to begin
producing lithium. In its first stage, CTR is
building a new 49-megawatt baseload geothermal
plant with lithium production of
25,000 tons annually; stage two will add an
additional 130 megawatts of power and
50,000 tons of lithium by 2025. BHE
Renewables is planning for 2026.
" We are working in lock-step with the
auto industry to incorporate the entire battery
supply chain onsite, " said Rod Colwell,
CEO of CTR, which has offices in California
and Australia. " Announcing a new
Gigafactory is one thing,but securing the raw
materials and developing the entire battery
eco-system to support it is just as critical. "
Eric Spomer, president and CEO of
EnergySource, said the company's process
" works with almost any kind of brine anywhere, "
and recovers up to 90% of the available
lithium-as compared to just 45% via
South American evaporation. The company
has four pilot plants, three in the U.S. and one
in Argentina. " We haven't announced our
offtake partners yet, but we have them, "
Spomer said. " Lithium is not an uncommon
element, but the trick is to decarbonize production
and mitigate impact while still remaining
economically competitive with other
extraction approaches. We think this is a robust
and attractive project. "
The U.S. is not among the top 10 cobalt
producers, according to the U.S. Geological
Survey (USGS), though Canada is fifth (producing
4,300 tons in 2021, compared to
120,000 tons in the Democratic Republic of
the Congo). Europe has an estimated 151 deposits
of cobalt in 12 countries, for a total of
1.3 million tons, but not much actual mining.
China is both the world's leading producer of
refined cobalt and its largest consumer, via
battery production.
It's not as if the U.S. doesn't have any
cobalt-reserves are estimated in a report for
USGS at a million tons (out of 25 million tons
identified around the world), mostly in
Minnesota. But production was only 500 tons
in 2019. With the exception of the DRC and
More efficient and less expensive collection solutions are needed
for battery materials, said Volkswagen's Steven Lupo.
process that does not involve shipments to Asia. " We're
not solving the full equation unless we keep our materials
in the country and start making cathodes here, " she
said. " The average metal atom travels 50,000 miles
22 October 2022
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING
VOLKSWAGEN

Automotive Engineering - October 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive Engineering - October 2022

Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - Intro
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - Sponsor1
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVRA
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVRB
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVR1
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVR2
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 1
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 2
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 3
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 4
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 5
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 6
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 7
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 8
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 9
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 10
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 11
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 12
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 13
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 14
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 15
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 16
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 17
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 18
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 19
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 20
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 21
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 22
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 23
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 24
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 25
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 26
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 27
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 28
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 29
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 30
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 31
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 32
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 33
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 34
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - 35
Automotive Engineering - October 2022 - CVR4
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