Blog | January 18, 2024

As BCI Turns 100, Innovation Remains a Top Priority, Recognizing Those Who Contribute to Our Future

Act Now! Annual Innovation Award Celebrates Achievements in the Battery Industry

As Battery Council International approaches its 100th anniversary, the trade association is honoring the trailblazers who helped build foundations for the modern battery industry. However, there’s plenty of growth and experimentation still underway – and BCI’s annual Innovation Award is a great opportunity to showcase today’s pioneers who are building a safer, greener, and more efficient industry for tomorrow. There is still time to submit your innovation(s) and receive recognition at the battery event of the century — BCI’s 2024 Convention + Power Mart Expo.

Last year’s Innovation Award winner, Minnesota-based battery recycler Gopher Resource, is a great example. Gopher Resource was recognized by BCI in 2023 for its patented pending SCRUM process, or Slag Cleaning and Recovery of Useful Metals process. Gopher Resource’s innovative process separates 99% of useful metals from lead blast furnace slags, producing high-quality tin and lead bullion that can be refined and used in new batteries. The remaining SCRUM Slag is an environmentally-friendly byproduct that can be repurposed in commercial applications.

Gopher Resource team is presented with Innovation Award at BCI Convention 2023
Gopher Resource team receives 2023 BCI Innovation Award. From left to right: Roger Miksad, BCI president; Daniel Graf, Ray Krantz, Joseph Grogan, Kevin Kremke and Daniel Leach of Gopher Resource; and Chris Pruitt, BCI chairman.

“The SCRUM process economically reduces our solid waste stream up to 99% and returns valuable critical metals to the battery supply chain — an industry first and a key component of a circular economy” said Joe Grogan, chief technology officer for Gopher Resource. “We’ve received a lot of interest in our innovative SCRUM process due to the industry visibility and recognition received from being selected as the 2023 BCI Innovation Award winner.

While Gopher Resource won the 2023 Innovation Award, other firms also presented compelling ideas and concepts. For instance, Runner-up Daramic showcased its HiCharge technology to extend battery life in motive power and other deep cycle applications, including a special waterloss feature that reduces grid corrosion and helps prevent acid stratification to prolonging battery life.

Past winners of the annual BCI Innovation Award also include:

2022 – Advanced Battery Concepts won the Innovation Award for its ABC Home Emergency Energy Storage system, built on a foundation of GreenSeal bipolar lead acid battery technology supported by a portfolio of 50+ patents and trade secrets.

2021 – Hammond was honored for its Performance Additives’ innovation. Lead silicate additives integrate with the lead oxide plate structure significantly increasing surface area. These “micro-sponges” trap the acid electrolyte and slow its release during charging.

2020 – ArcActive won BCI’s award for re-engineering the negative electrode of the Lead Battery to remove the Lead Grid and replace it with a non-woven Carbon Fiber Fabric (AACarbonTM). The benefit of this innovation is that it achieves high and sustained dynamic charge acceptance while delivering very low water consumption.

2019 – RSR Technologies won the Innovation Award for its alloy, SUPERSOFT-HYCYCLE, which improved cycle life, dynamic charge acceptance and capacity and enabled lead batteries to function at 2x then-current standards. Use of the advanced photon source at Argonne National Laboratory helped verify that improvement.

2018 – Gridtential Energy’s breakthrough Silicon Joule battery architecture combined the traditional benefits of lead-acid batteries – low cost, recyclability, and safety – with a novel bipolar battery architecture.

See the full list of past BCI Innovation award winners and submissions here.

The BCI Innovation Award was created in 2016, in honor of Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz. The annual award recognizes new and interesting developments in the battery industry that align with the battery industry’s core values including sustainability, safety, and cost efficiency.

The award is open to companies and individuals from around the globe, including BCI members and non-members alike. The entry deadline has been extended to January 30th, 2024.  Learn more about the annual Innovation Award and submission guidelines.

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