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Fruit Peel to Turn Old Lithium-Ion Batteries Into New

1st December 2020
"The scientists say that their waste-to-resource approach tackles both food waste and electronics waste."

Scientists led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a novel method of using fruit peel waste to extract and reuse precious metals from spent lithium-ion batteries in order to create new batteries.

Fruit Peel-Turn-Old-Lithium-Ion-Batteries-Into-New

A team of scientists led by NTU has developed a novel method of using fruit peel waste to extract and reuse precious metals from spent lithium-ion batteries in order to create new batteries. L-R: Asst Prof Dalton Tay, Prof Madhavi Srinivasan. Credit: NTU Singapore


The team demonstrated their concept using orange peel, which recovered precious metals from battery waste efficiently. They then made functional batteries from these recovered metals, creating minimal waste in the process.

The scientists say that their waste-to-resource approach tackles both food waste and electronics waste,  supporting the development of a circular economy with zero waste, in which resources are kept in use for as long as possible. An estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste and 50 million tonnes of e-waste are generated globally each year.

Professor Madhavi Srinivasan, co-director of the NTU Singapore-CEA Alliance for Research in Circular Economy (NTU SCARCE) lab, said: “Current industrial recycling processes of e-waste are energy-intensive and emit harmful pollutants and liquid waste, pointing to an urgent need for eco-friendly methods as the amount of e-waste grows. Our team has demonstrated that it is possible to do so with biodegradable substances.

These findings build on our existing body of work at SCARCE under NTU’s Energy Research Institute (ERI@N). The SCARCE lab was set up to develop greener ways of recycling e-waste. It is also part of the NTU Smart Campus initiative, which aims to develop technologically advanced solutions for a sustainable future.

Assistant Professor Dalton Tay of the NTU School of Materials Science and Engineering and School of Biological Sciences said: “In Singapore, a resource-scarce country, this process of urban mining to extract valuable metals from all kinds of discarded electronics becomes very important. With this method, we not only tackle the problem of resource depletion by keeping these precious metals in use as much as possible but also the problem of e-waste and food waste accumulation – both a growing global crisis.”

The findings were published in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology in July.

Source

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Toyota and Panasonic Establish Joint Venture to make automotive prismatic batteries

28th November 2020
"Toyota and Panasonic announced that they have decided to establish Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Inc., a joint venture specializing in automotive prismatic batteries."

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Panasonic Corporation (Panasonic) announced today that they have decided to establish Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Inc., a joint venture specializing in automotive prismatic batteries. This decision comes just over a year since the two companies announced on January 22, 2019, that they had concluded a business integration contract and a joint-venture contract toward the establishment of a new company. Toyota and Panasonic have also decided on the outline of the joint venture.

Toyota and Panasonic joint venture outline

Batteries―as solutions for providing energy for automobiles and various other forms of mobility, and as solutions for various kinds of environmental issues are expected to fulfill a central role in society going forward a role that supports people's lives.

The joint venture announced by Toyota and Panasonic will develop highly competitive, cost-effective batteries that are safe and feature excellent quality and performance (in terms of capacity, output, durability, etc.), enabling use with peace of mind by all customers. Furthermore, the Toyota and Panasonic joint venture will supply batteries not only to Toyota but also, broadly and stably, to all customers.

The joint venture's name embraces Toyota's and Panasonic's strong determination to provide their customers while working in unison with many friends to keep our irreplaceable earth-abundant and clean―broad-ranging, added-value solutions including and beyond the supply of energy in the form of batteries.

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HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR PHONE'S BATTERY?

1st December 2020
"We are all concerned about our Smartphone's Battery life, its degradation and health."

Are you concerned about your battery life? Is it draining fast or does it shutdown by force? Does its temperature rise soon after you open gaming apps? Most of the Smartphone users, nowadays, are concerned about increasing their battery life, cause who wants to squander money on Smartphone every year because of battery problems? 

Here are 10 tips that will help you take care of your phone’s battery.

Understand your Battery Health

Our battery health degrades a little after every charging cycle. Charging cycle is the cycle in which your battery charges from 0% to 100%. So, if you charge up to 50% then it will be half a charging cycle. It is said that after 400 cycles the battery health degrades by 20% though in some cases it has been found that even after only 100 cycles the battery health degraded by 20%.

Thus, we must understand our battery health and try to reduce the charging cycle. The less we strain the battery by avoiding the high-brightness, extreme temperature, etc., lesser will be the charging cycle and longer will be the battery life.

Avoid extreme temperature

Extreme hot or extreme cold always has and will be the enemy of the battery health. Try to avoid extreme temperatures and keep the phone in normal temperature. Do not leave the phone in car when it’s boiling hot or when it’s freezing cold.

Avoid fast-charging and overcharging

All of us are in hurry to use our phone; so, we seek out for fastest charging charger. Well, fast-charging is most likely to strain your battery that leads to degradation in its health.

Also, it’s not healthy to charge your phone overnight or throughout the day even after it’s fully charged. If you plan on charging your phone overnight, then go with slower-charging chargers that won’t strain the battery.

Avoid draining the battery up to 0% and charging it all the way to 100% 

Try to avoid one full charging cycle as it strains the battery, and if possible, try to increase the battery charge by 50% in one charging cycle and not more than that. Experts recommend the Smartphone users to maintain their battery between 20% and 90% to avoid strain on the battery. 

Reduce the screen brightness 

Among all the apps and softwares in your phone, screen brightness drains the most of your battery. Try to reduce the brightness to the level in which neither your eyes nor the battery strains. Also, avoid auto-brightness as well. 

Reduce screen timeout/ Auto-lock

Most often, we leave our phones on and forget to turn the screen off. And, for the Smartphone having 2-5 minutes of default screen timeout, this reduces a lot of energy. So, try to reduce the screen timeout/ Auto-lock to save the battery life when you’re not using it. 

Apply Dark Theme

For the phones with OLED or AMOLED screen, use of dark theme can make a huge difference in saving the battery life. Dark theme uses less energy compared to bright theme. This tip can make huge difference in the battery life, especially for Android users

Restrict apps that waste battery

Restrict the unwanted notifications of the applications that are not required as they waste the battery. Also, restrict the applications from running in the background to avoid high battery drain. 

Use power-Saving modes 

Power-saving modes also helps to keep our battery healthy. Enabling power saving mode restricts the number of applications that can be used; as a result, you can use only the apps you require at the time without having the battery degraded by any other app. 

Use certified chargers only 

Chargers, having direct effect on the battery, can affect the battery life. Do not go after the cheap chargers and try to use the chargers of certified brands only to ensure no harm is made to the battery.

 

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Battery Production: How the Heart of an Electric Car is Made

30th November 2020
"Why do the employees need special work clothes?"

The battery production line looks like a single, neat line at first sight. But it has three main branches, and the finished batteries come off it roughly in the middle. The battery modules are being put together into the assembly of four in one branch. In another branch, there is the fully equipped case that houses the battery modules and is perfectly sealed at the end of the assembly process to protect the battery from external influences. The battery’s electronics are put together in the third, smaller branch.

Battery-Production-of-Electric-Car

The battery module is located beneath the car floor in front of the rear axle.


what-Electric-Car-battery-contains

The production line lithium-ion batteries

When assembling the four battery modules, ŠKODA uses modules from an external supplier that are actually finished small battery cells. These modules proceed along the first part of the line in two parallel streams: for the left and right parts of the battery separately. Each module comes from the supplier charged to roughly 20% capacity, so safety precautions are necessary right from the start of the production process. The first step is to fit the module with special heat-conducting foil that helps improve the cooling of the entire battery set. A cooler is inserted between the modules – once connected, coolant liquid flows through the cooler.

Other parts of the line handle the battery’s low-voltage electronics. The entire control module, known as the e-box, with its own control unit, is made on the part of the line with enhanced protection against any excess voltage from static. That is why everyone in the workplace wears special clothing. The individual components on the line are also specially protected.

A single piece of aluminium

While the battery modules and e-boxes are being assembled, in another part the aluminium can be forming the body of the battery is prepared. Most of the handling work here is done by robots, but at some stations, they have a manual backup in case the robot is unable to do the job for some reason.

Electric-Car-single-aluminium-Assembled-batteries

Assembled batteries head off for rigorous testing.


The massive aluminium case also comes from a supplier. Here on the line, it is fitted with all the necessary components such as various connectors, seals, stops and screw bushes, but also the external heat shield that passes through the centre of the case. This shield protects the entire battery from the heat from the exhaust that runs beneath it.

When the case is fully assembled, it is the turn of a perhaps unexpected assistant to do its bit: a robot that uses a vacuum cleaner to make sure that the case is free from any impurities that might cause problems during operation. After being vacuumed, the case is ready for what is known as the “marriage”. While in automobile manufacture this has traditionally meant the phase when the body is joined together with the chassis and engine, here it means putting the assembled battery modules into the case, which is done by a robot. Another robot takes care of the fairly complicated process of screwing bath and module together. The seal lies on a mount. The complexity lies in the fact that the screw and the mount are automatically connected first.

Electric-Car-assembly-battery-paired

At the start of assembly battery modules are paired up; the complete battery blocks are made from multiples of these pairs.


Once the case and modules have been put together, other components are fitted, primarily the cooling circuit. The installation of the low-voltage cabling is completed and the case is given filler material and support braces. One smart solution is applied when these are screwed together on the line.

Another control practice might seem unexpected as well: after all the connectors have been attached inside the battery, the employee at the next station uses a felt-tip pen to make a dot on the place of the given connection to show that he performed a second visual check of the connection. “This requirement forces the employee to actually look at the connection,” Mašek says. All that’s left to do after that is to connect the module to the control unit, and the battery is ready to be sealed. The lid on the case is secured with a double seal: rubber and special glue. The lid is screwed on by a robot.

Testing of Battery Assembly

Assembly is followed by a series of tests. The first is the seal test, with separate checks of the tightness of the cooling circuit and the battery as a whole. From time to time, a different-looking unit appears among the tested batteries. This is a specimen unit that verifies that the seal testing apparatus is working properly. Special jets can simulate seal defects, which adds another dimension to the check of testing apparatus’s functionality.

manual-Battery-Production-clean

Battery production is clean and almost noiseless, with little manual work involved. 


When the battery has passed the seal test, it can proceed to one of the thirteen test states for a series of electric tests. High-voltage and low-voltage (communication) parts are checked, and tests are done to make sure the insulation works properly. Once the battery has been through all the tests, it is charged to around 37% capacity. Then it is given a warning label, its own type label for identification purposes (this label is also printed and affixed automatically under the watchful eye of a camera) and a few other details. Then the finished battery is dispatched to the warehouse.

Source: ŠKODA

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Indian Scientists Develop Battery Technology To Make EVs With 1600 km Battery Range

1st December 2020
"Indian Scientists Develop Battery Technology To Make EVs With 1600 km Battery Range."

According to the research team, this tech could revolutionise the existing multi-billion dollar industries including Electric vehicles, consumer electronics, drone and other products that depend on the usage of a Lithium-Ion battery.

Indian scientists are working on next-gen battery technology to make EVs super-efficient. A joint research team from IIT Bombay and Shiv Nadar University is working on new Lithium battery cells. Researchers claim that the Lithium battery they are working on will have three times more energy density than the conventional Li-ion battery. If the claims of these scientists are valid, then it can revolutionize the electric vehicle industry.

Battery-Production-of-EVs

These new battery cells are based on Lithium-Sulphur (Li-S) chemistry. Not only this, but the Li-S batteries will also be cheaper than the current Li-ion batteries. Besides, the technology developed by scientists would allow the environment-friendly production of these battery cells.

As per the reports, the production of battery cells requires the by-products of petroleum along with agro-waste elements and copolymers such as cardanol and eugenol as cathodic materials. Cardanol is nothing but simply the by-product of cashew nut processing, whereas eugenol is the clove oil.

So basically this technology uses bio-molecules in the form of cathodes for Li-S battery cells. Though this might be a new concept, it promises some great results. If your energy density has increased by three times then it simply means more range for your electric cars.

Bimlesh Lochab, Associate Professor at Shiv Nadar University told PTI, “The capability of three times more energy density, coupled with being a significantly safer technology, holds the promise of accelerating the adoption of clean, battery-led energy across multiple domains.

Professor Lochab explained by giving an example of a car. He said a car with a 400 km range can travel 1600 km on a single charge with this battery technology.

Cars like Tesla depend on Lithium-Ion battery technology so for the future of electrification this could be an important invention.

The new battery technology synthesises a bio-based molecule, capable of commercial-scale production. The research includes a new type of cathode for Li-S batteries, which can help push the promising battery technology to higher performance levels.

 

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