I seldom report when an automation supplier gets a project “win.” In this case, I’m interested in the battery ecosystem as the owner of a new electric vehicle. Battery recycling is one of the few recycling programs that actually work. I pick up about 40 lbs. of used batteries a week from our community to take to the county recycling center. The large batteries in our EVs will need to be recycled with the crucial elements reclaimed in the near future. This is cool.
Emerson has been selected by Korea’s SungEel HiTech Co., Ltd., a specialist in lithium-ion battery recycling, to provide automation solutions in support of sustainable production and operational efficiency goals at the newest of three lithium-ion recycling plants located at SungEel’s Hydro Center complex in Gunsan, Jeollabuk-do.
Through the combination of Emerson’s process automation technology and SungEel HiTech’s unique battery recycling methods, the collaboration aims to establish a robust resource cycle that will help enable a more stable supply of battery materials for electric vehicles in pursuit of bolstering the world’s overall production capacity.
“Our automation portfolio and expertise are empowering our customers to optimize and scale the circular economy for critical battery components, a key step toward meeting global net-zero targets head-on,” said Mike Train, Emerson’s chief sustainability officer.
SungEel HiTech operates a comprehensive battery recycling ecosystem across nine global locations, including a recycling park for collection and pretreatment and a hydrometallurgical battery material production facility at the Gunsan Hydro Center. The upcoming third Hydro Center plant will be triple the size of the first two, contributing to increased production capacity that can supply raw materials for approximately 400,000 electric vehicles each year.
“As the battery recycling market continues to grow, the significance of automation solutions to improve productivity and process efficiency is increasingly apparent,” said ChenFai Chung, vice president and general manager for Emerson in North Asia. “We are proud to work with an innovative leader like SungEel HiTech to contribute to the advancement of battery recycling technology.”
Emerson will supply advanced instrumentation and valve solutions that provide the high levels of performance, accuracy and reliability required for the advanced proprietary hydrometallurgical processes that SungEel HiTech uses. The package will include a variety of flow, level, pressure, and pH sensors and transmitters, as well as robust control valves that are critical to safe and reliable operations.
My report from this summer’s Honeywell User Group included some new advances they are making with battery storage systems. The growth of wind and solar and other new forms of electricity generation that are not “always on” realizes better utility through methods of storing electricity to cover times when they are not generating. Honeywell’s new Ionic system steps up its utility.
Large-scale battery storage systems enable utilities to improve renewable power generation with an industry-leading battery management system
Honeywell announced on August 24 its collaboration with Nuvation Energy to integrate an improved battery management system (BMS) into Honeywell’s modular battery energy storage system, Honeywell Ionic.
One of the first of its kind, Nuvation’s BMS provides users with significant flexibility and greater insights into the battery’s performance. The system is easy to install and maintain and offers a cost-competitive and reliable solution for commercial and industrial customers. Offering large-scale storage for renewable energy generation, Honeywell Ionic supports up to 1500-volt inverters to increase system efficiency and includes Nuvation Energy’s industry-leading battery management system (BMS).
“Energy storage is one of the fastest growing energy industry technologies in the world, and solutions like this will be critical to enabling governments and businesses to meet their carbon emission reduction targets,” said Michael Worry, CEO of Nuvation Energy. “Our collaboration with Honeywell will allow companies to take control of their own sustainability journey.”
With Honeywell Ionic, customers can add modular systems to increase capacity. Since Nuvation’s BMS is configurable for any battery, it can also support different batteries from those in the original BESS. A single system can combine batteries that differ by chemistry, performance profile, age, and state of health.
These solutions enable intermittent renewable generation like solar and wind to be stored and reduces sudden sags or surges in power supplied to customers. Many utility grids cannot add more renewable energy without storage to avoid the destabilizing impacts its large-scale integration creates. Honeywell Ionic will be used by both utilities “in front of the meter” and commercial and industrial customers “behind the meter” for a range of energy storage applications, including demand charge management, transmission and distribution upgrade deferral, energy arbitrage, and grid resiliency.
“Combining Honeywell’s energy storage technology with Nuvation Energy’s battery management has created an efficient large-scale storage solution that addresses users’ key pain points,” said Sarang Gadre, Vertical Leader, Infrastructure and New Energy, Honeywell Process Solutions. “By pairing Nuvation’s Gen 5 BMS with Honeywell Ionic, we are helping to address tomorrow’s problems, today.”
I saw this news in one of my favorite news sources about funding and building new industrial plants in America due to the Investment Reduction Act. Axios is usually pretty good although it does slip into journalism 101 hype at times. At a time when news only wants to promote divisiveness and negativity, here is reason for us in our market to take heart. This news item is written by Neil Irwin. Click the link to read the entire article.
Why it matters: The 2010s were a period of chronic underinvestment. By contrast, now there are billions flooding into large, expensive megaprojects to manufacture batteries, solar cells, semiconductors and much more.
It is fueled by hundreds of billions of dollars allocated by the Biden administration’s signature legislation — the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastucture Law, and CHIPS and Science Act — as well as pent-up demand.
It implies sustained upward pressure on demand for workers and raw materials for years to come, and makes a recession less likely by creating a floor of activity under normally volatile industries.
What they’re saying: “We believe the U.S. is in the early stages of a manufacturing supercycle,” wrote Joseph P. Quinlan, head of CIO Market Strategy at Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank, in a report this week.
[Note: If you had previously signed up to receive new posts via email, you’ve noticed that they stopped and then restarted. WordPress had notified me that this service had ended. I recently saw where it was active, but not supported. It’s on for as long as WordPress enables it or until you unsubscribe.
You can subscribe to an occasional newsletter that I’ve been playing around with. It comes through my HEY.com email account. If you haven’t checked out Hey, give it a look. I haven’t moved my business email there, yet, but I like the new take on an email client. My email address there is [email protected]. The newsletter is at https://world.hey.com/garymintchell and you subscribe there or get the RSS feed for your reader.]
Click on the link on my homepage for the Carbon Almanac. It is a volunteer effort to compile information about carbon and climate change. I made a very minor contribution, but I do promote the work.
Process automation technology developers have become focused on such areas as energy saving, carbon capture, methane leak detection, and so forth. I view these as ethically valid—and also valid examples of Lean…reducing waste.
ABB has become a leader of the pack. I have two recent pieces of news about programs. One is an independent report to help discover problems and solutions; the other is a use case with an end user partner.
ABB Energy Report
- Energy efficiency is the best way for industry to cut costs and reduce emissions right now
- Independent report highlights 10 actions to help industrial users improve their energy efficiency right now
- Improving energy efficiency will reduce energy bills and emissions substantially in the short- to mid-term, without compromising productivity
- Industry is the world’s largest consumer of electricity, natural gas and coal, and accounts for 42 percent of electricity demand
A new report from the Energy Efficiency Movement shows that improving industrial energy efficiency is the fastest and most effective way for a business to cut energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy Efficiency Movement is a global forum of around 200 organizations sharing ideas, best practices and commitments to create a more energy-efficient world.
The “Industrial energy efficiency playbook” includes 10 actions that a business can take to improve its energy efficiency, reduce energy costs and lower emissions right now. It focuses on mature, widely available technology solutions that will deliver rapid results and ROI – and are capable of being deployed at scale.
Industry is the world’s largest consumer of electricity, natural gas and coal, according to the IEA, accounting for 42 percent of total electricity demand, equal to more than 34 exajoules of energy. The iron, steel, chemical and petrochemical industries are the largest consumers of energy among the world’s top-five energy-consuming countries – China, United States, India, Russia and Japan. This energy consumption carries high costs in the current inflationary environment. It was also responsible for nine gigatons of CO2, equal to 45 percent of total direct emissions from end-use sectors in 2021, according to the IEA.
Organizations interviewed for the report include ABB, Alfa Laval, DHL Group, the IEA, Microsoft and ETH Zürich, the Swiss federal institute of technology. The contributors’ recommendations range from carrying out energy audits to right-sizing industrial machines that are often too big for the job at hand, which wastes energy. Moving data from on-site servers and into the cloud could help save around 90 percent of the energy consumed by IT systems. Speeding up the transition from fossil fuels, by electrifying industrial fleets, switching gas boilers to heat pumps or using well-maintained heat exchangers will also offer efficiencies.
Further actions involve installing sensors and real-time digital energy monitoring to reveal the presence of so-called “ghost assets” that use power when on stand-by, unlike a digital twin that can simulate efficiency actions without interrupting production. Using smart building solutions to control power systems, lighting, blinds and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) will also save energy in industrial facilities.
Other recommendations include installing variable speed drives which can improve the energy efficiency of a motor-driven system by up to 30 percent, yielding immediate cost and emissions benefits. If the more than 300 million industrial electric motor-driven systems currently in operation were replaced with optimized, high-efficiency motors, global electricity consumption could be reduced by up to 10 percent.
ABB partners with Boliden to reduce carbon footprint of its industrial products
- ABB to use Boliden’s certified recycled and low-carbon copper in electric motors and electromagnetic stirring technologies
- Move supports ABB’s target of at least 80 percent of its products and solutions taking a circular approach by 2030
ABB is working with Boliden, the Swedish mining and smelting company, to build a strategic co-operation to use low carbon footprint copper in its electromagnetic stirring (EMS) equipment and high-efficiency electric motors. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while driving the transition to a more circular economy.
The partnership with Boliden forms an integral part of ABB’s strategic ambition to reduce the environmental impact of raw materials used in its products by replacing them with lower carbon alternatives. Apart from using recycled copper, ABB has committed to increase the use of recycled electric steel (e-steel) and recycled aluminum. The move is also an important step in closing the circularity loop that has already seen ABB designing its motors to be up to 98 percent recyclable, with the remaining two percent of materials available to be incinerated for heat recovery. Recycling copper, aluminum and steel offers energy savings of between 75 and 95 percent compared to virgin production.
The co-operation includes ABB placing the first order for Boliden’s certified recycled copper through Finnish metals manufacturing specialist Luvata. Hollow conductor wire made from the material will be used in ABB’s EMS products for both steel and aluminum manufacturing.
Furthermore, as of 2023, ABB will purchase Boliden’s low-carbon and recycled copper to cover the demand for its IE5 Ultra-Premium Efficiency SynRM and e-mobility motors produced in Europe. The two companies have also signed a memorandum of understanding that will see ABB supporting Boliden in identifying inefficient low-voltage motors across its operating units. These motors can then be replaced with high efficiency motors within ABB’s take back upcycling framework, with the old motors recycled to provide raw material for Boliden’s recycled copper.
Copper is a vital material for manufacturing industrial electrical equipment, but its production is energy intensive. To address this, Boliden has developed low-carbon copper that is mined using fossil-free energy and also produces copper using secondary raw material from recycled products. The carbon footprint of these products is 65 percent lower than the industry average. A typical 75-kilowatt (kW) motor weighing 650 kg might include 80 kg of copper. Using Boliden’s copper saves approximately 200 kg of CO₂ emissions for every one of these motors manufactured. Each stirrer has up to 2,700 kg of copper, saving up to 6,700 kg of CO2 per stirrer.
Taking environmental issues and carbon reduction out of the political arena and placing among those who can actually do something promotes good stewardship—and good business. Check out The Carbon Almanac (click the photo on the web page). This book contains a wealth of facts and action items for us all.
The major automation technology providers have invented and unleashed many ways customers can reduce carbon footprint. This research from ABB shows how offshore companies can reduce global carbon emissions by 300,000 tons per site per year, the equivalent of taking 150,000 cars off the road.
- Moving to autonomous operations increases reliability and predictability of energy supply
- Annual savings of up to $30 million can be achieved
ABB has published another of its ‘Energy Transition Equation’ reports that shows how industrial customers can reduce carbon emissions and manage the energy transition for a more sustainable future.
Based on nine months of research and modelling, the report highlights how early adoption and integration of automation, digitalization, and electrification technologies to enable autonomous operations can deliver savings of over 300,000 tons of carbon emissions per annum for offshore sites (approximately 25 percent reduction). This is the equivalent of removing 150,000 combustion cars from the road and is the same volume of CO2 responsible for five million tons of glacier mass lost each year.
The report also demonstrates how companies can realize production efficiencies of up to $30 million in annual savings, while delivering net revenue increases of up to $120,000, thanks to autonomous operations.
A key part of this is redeploying companies’ offshore workforces, moving them from hazardous roles into new ones onshore. In doing so, employers can offer safer working environments, a better work-life balance and fill industry talents gaps by reskilling employees to support a data-led approach to oil and gas exploration and production.
In 2021, ABB reduced its own CO2 emissions by 39 percent as part of its Sustainability Strategy 2030 and expects to be fully carbon neutral by decade’s end. The strategy details how ABB will support its global customers in reducing their annual CO2 emissions by at least 100 megatons by 2030, the equivalent of removing 30 million combustion cars from the roads.
The report’s economic modelling was undertaken by independent economist Steve Lucas of Developmental Economics, in conjunction with ABB Energy Industries and supported with desktop research of academic and industry sources. ABB will publish reports focused on the power and chemicals markets in 2023.
Notes to editors
These figures are based upon hypothetical scenarios of a 1 x 150000 barrel a day (oil) FPSO and a 1 x 150000 barrel (oil) Fixed Platform. Both assume an operational life cycle of 15 years with a 5-year development phase. Some have been rounded out for the purpose of the press release – exact calculations and figures can be found in the report or can be downloaded here.
Sustainability continues its strong trend among industrial and manufacturing companies. This story concerns Emerson and Albioma regarding biomass.
Global technology and software company Emerson has been selected by Albioma, a French independent energy provider, to help transition its coal-fired Bois Rouge plant to 100% renewable energy. As part of Albioma’s wider mission to transition all of its existing fossil fuel plants to renewable energy, Emerson’s automation systems and software will enable the coal-fired power station to convert to biomass feedstock.
The multi-million-dollar project is the latest example of how Emerson technologies are helping customers accelerate their transition to more sustainable energy. The power plant, one of three that Albioma operates on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, will be converted to use 100% biomass wood pellets. The overhaul of the 108-megawatt facility will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 640,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per year, an 84% decrease in direct emissions compared to current operating levels.
The Bois Rouge plant consists of three generating units. Two units are already controlled by Emerson’s Ovation™ distributed control system, which will be modified for use with biomass feedstock, and the third unit will be replaced with a new Ovation system. The units will also be modernized with new turbine protection and health monitoring systems, safety systems for the boilers, and upgraded boiler control elements and instrumentation.
To ensure the project is completed within the available timeframe – a critical requirement of Albioma – Emerson will provide its Project Certainty methodologies, digital technologies and software expertise. In addition to delivering local engineering support for the project, Emerson will provide its Remote Virtual Office (RVO) collaboration platform – a secure virtual engineering and testing environment that will enable Albioma to access Emerson’s resources and ongoing support to reduce project risk and costs.