Sustainable End-of-Life Batteries Management
The global demand for lithium-powered vehicles and portable batteries is increasing. However, various safety and logistical issues were historically compounded by economics that was not commercially attractive. Therefore, the challenge was figuring out a way to unlock the economic potential in batteries by better refining the raw commodity materials within them like lithium and Cobalt that are predominantly sourced from countries where ethical issues affect trade creating risk and cost for producers.
In response, TES is enabling the circular economy by advancing the closed-loop recovery of such minerals and repurposing/reusing batteries through strategic investments of over $25mil in mechanical, chemical processing, and testing repurposing facilities in Singapore, Grenoble, France, and Rotterdam, Netherlands. The process to bring that to life was to develop proprietary mechanical and chemical strategies that would successfully harvest those commodities and others, capturing them to a purity level that allows them to be reused in the forward supply chain. By adding end-to-end capabilities and geographies, we demonstrate innovation and integration with customer needs which we believe is worthy of recognition.
Additional investment in a start-up battery data platform, Circunomics, would provide critical data to establish a marketplace for used EV batteries. Furthermore, our partnership in the “accuRate” R&D project with LiPlus and the University of Munich is helping develop precise measurements of batteries state of health parameters which assist with reliable grading. Accurate evaluation of batteries, engineering, sound lifecycle management, and a marketplace for batteries are the components for establishing a circular battery ecosystem that assists the propagation of climate and environmentally friendly renewable energy products and services. By undertaking and integrating these activities, TES delivers on the vision to ensure that scarce battery materials remain in useful life for as long as possible.
TES sustainable battery solutions have identified that data and investment in facilities are critical to circular economy success for batteries. The work is thus unique in its holistic approach. Partnerships and collaborations (with Circunomics and accuRate) are occurring to utilize artificial intelligence and data to build a marketplace for adequately graded and warranted batteries in secondary applications and recycling. End-of-life management facilities operating to international standards such as R2, ISO, and UL1974 that achieve the highest recovery levels with no harmful atmospheric emissions and low energy footprint (compared to smelting) tie off our sustainable battery offering. The approach is innovative and unique as it delivers a one-stop-shop solution for battery customers interested in closed-loop, circular economy outcomes in different parts of the world.
TES has been an early adopter of circular approaches in information and communications technology (ICT) lifecycle management. Besides reuse solutions that deliver 100% resource recovery outcomes, TES recovery facilities, specifically TES B, achieve a lithium-ion battery recovery rate of over 90% and a purity level yield of almost 99%. In contrast to high energy smelting methods, TES B delivers a safe and low capital, low energy footprint, partially powered by solar panels, and a 1 MWh energy storage system. In many aspects, TES’s innovative approach considers broad circular and economic ambitions that make our solutions future-focused and sustainable by maximizing value and resource recovery for the long term. It differs from others who focus narrowly instead of systematically collecting, processing, or recovering constituent metals. Such organizations will inherently be faced with increased risk and a narrow pipeline of opportunities.
In addition, TES people are building skillsets within the organization to impact circular resource recovery and climate change significantly. Our company continues to grow, attracting knowledge and talent as a result. Beyond the partnerships and collaborations we have forged in the industry, TES has also joined the Global Battery Alliance and adopted their ten guiding principles agreed to by 70 global organizations such as BASF, BMW, Honda, UNEP, WBCSD, and the Faraday Institute.
Our sustaining tomorrow strategy is a call to action to preserve our natural environment and the use of scarce resources.