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RSR Technologies Receives 2019 Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Innovation Award

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, May 6, 2019

RSR Technologies, Inc. has been awarded the 2019 Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Innovation Award. Battery Council International (BCI) annually presents this award to celebrate innovation in equipment, processes, services and products that advance the lead battery industry. The award was established to honor industry thought leader, Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz, former CEO of East Penn Manufacturing Co.

RSR Technologies' active R&D initiative in the secondary lead industry has produced a new alloy, SUPERSOFT-HYCYCLE, enabling lead batteries to function at 2x current standards. Use of the Advanced Photon Source at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has helped verify this improvement. The alloy improves cycle life, dynamic charge acceptance and capacity.

"Battery Council International is pleased to have received 11 submissions for the Innovation Award," said Kevin Moran, executive vice president of BCI. "We are eager to see how these innovations will continue to impact the lead battery industry over time, and we are proud to celebrate these advancements annually with the Innovation Award."

Microporous and Narada received honorable mentions for their submissions.

To watch a video of each submission, including RSR Technologies', and to learn more about the Innovation Award, visit www.batterycouncil.org/InnovationAward.

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Earth Day: New Information Brief Offers Lead Battery Industry As Premier Example Of Circular Economy

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, April 22, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2019

In conjunction with Earth Day, the lead battery industry has published a new information brief (found at EssentialEnergyEveryday.com) detailing how lead battery manufacturers and recyclers demonstrate leadership in implementing a circular economy. The lead battery industry is an innovator in the circular economy, and one of only 16% of U.S. industries that follows a make-use-recycle manufacturing business strategy. This circular approach means the lead industry is both protecting the environment and remaining commercially competitive in order to meet future energy needs.

"Our industry provides a circular economy model for batteries, as well as other industries," said Kevin Moran, executive vice president of Battery Council International (BCI). "Lead batteries are a model of a take-make-use-recycle and reuse closed-loop system, compared to other battery chemistries that follow a linear model of take, waste and dispose." Moran cited the nearly 100% recycling rate of lead batteries, and the fact that every battery is comprised of at least 80% recycled lead.

The information brief and accompanying infographic highlight the key benefits of the closed-loop system as promoting the sustainable management of our natural resources, moving us toward climate neutrality; protecting national security; and decoupling growth from the use of natural resources.

The document also describes how the lead battery industry is achieving circularity. For example, manufacturers and recyclers work together to design batteries to be efficiently recycled for reuse and remanufacture. They also deploy a sophisticated collection and transportation system to collect spent batteries for recycling and pick-up finished lead metal for manufacturing. Additionally, the industry employs sustainable manufacturing practices ranging from recycling millions of gallons of water for use in new batteries, and collecting and reusing storm water, to relying on solar installations to power facilities. In one instance, a new revenue stream has been created by producing a liquid fertilizer solution for agricultural use from the sulfur fumes created during recycling.

As a call to action, the brief asks decision makers to deeply consider a battery's life cycle environmental footprint when selecting a battery technology. Sustainable materials management in non-lead battery manufacturing requires a paradigm shift from a linear to a circular economic model with stakeholders. The lead battery industry is a model for all battery technologies, especially as the move to electrification and decarbonization intensifies.

Learn More at Essential Energy Everyday

Essential Energy Everyday exists to increase awareness of the critical importance of lead batteries in powering our daily lives. It encourages continued investment in sustainable lead battery technology to store and provide energy on demand. Its initiative is supported by the two global trade associations that represent the lead battery and lead industries, Battery Council International and the International Lead Association.

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Tulip and Richardson Merger Announcement

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, March 28, 2019

Richardson Molding, LLC (“Richardson”) and Tulip Molded Plastics Corporation (“Tulip”) announced today the merger of these two highly regarded plastic injection molding companies. The new organization is now named Tulip Richardson Manufacturing (“TRM”) and will be led by Craig Kellogg (CEO) and Steve Dyer (President).

Richardson and Tulip are leading manufacturers of proprietary and custom injection molding products serving the industrial lead-acid battery, automotive and consumer markets. Additionally, Tulip has a strong reputation as a manufacturer of lead terminals and reprocessed polypropylene. TRM’s manufacturing platform consists of four facilities strategically located in Columbus, IN, Philadelphia, MS, Niagara Falls, NY, and Milwaukee, WI with over 135 injection molding presses ranging from 10T to 1,100T. The locations of these facilities and complementary manufacturing capabilities will allow TRM to drive operating efficiencies and provide superior customer service.

The merger will enable TRM to leverage the strengths of each organization and add significant value as an integral part of its customers’ supply chains. Owner Resource Group LLC (“ORG”) and Saugatuck Capital Company (“Saugatuck”), the majority owners of TRM, will continue to invest in the business and will actively support management’s focus on product development, operational excellence and increased service levels across the organization.

“We are excited about our partnership with Tulip and Saugatuck and believe in the long-term growth potential of TRM,” said ORG Managing Director Brad Esson. “ORG looks forward to supporting the management team’s efforts to integrate the two businesses and realize the full potential of the combined organization.”

“Tulip and Richardson both have a long history of providing outstanding service to their customers and Saugatuck believes this customer service will only be further enhanced as a result of the merger. Our current and new customers will both benefit from the expanded footprint and strengthened capabilities,” said Saugatuck Managing Partner Stuart Hawley.

About Owner Resource Group, LLC

Owner Resource Group is an Austin, Texas based private investment firm founded to bring superior outcomes to privately held businesses. The company makes investments that enable business owners and management teams the ability to pursue their objectives and accelerate the growth of their companies in a disciplined manner. ORG appreciates an owner’s need for fairness, certainty, flexibility and confidentiality when considering a transaction. After a transaction, the ORG philosophy is to align our interests with management to support the existing culture and the continued growth. For further information regarding ORG and its investments, please visit www.orgroup.com.

About Saugatuck Capital Company

Founded in 1982, Saugatuck is a long-established private investment firm committed to leveraged recapitalizations and buyouts and growth equity investments in the lower, middle market. Sourcing investment opportunities through its wellestablished network, Saugatuck invests in service-intensive businesses demonstrating a proven ability to generate stable, growing cash flows where it has the requisite experience to drive accelerated portfolio company performance. For over three decades, the firm has been dedicated to the philosophy of hands-on value creation in which exceptional management teams, in partnership with Saugatuck’s capital and expertise, build companies of outstanding value. For further information regarding Saugatuck and its investments, please visit www.saugatuckcapital.com.

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New Tech Targets Cobalt, Lithium Supply Crunch

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, February 18, 2019

Reprinted from Energywire with permission from E&E News. Copyright 2019. E&E provides essential news for energy and environment professionals at www.eenews.net. For the original story and more news click here.

An Australian minerals company says it's close to perfecting processes for tapping a huge new source of electric vehicle battery materials — recovering critical metals and minerals from conventional mining waste and spent batteries.

Lithium Australia NL says its proprietary processes will allow it to economically extract lithium and other raw materials from the mine tailing waste disposed of by Australia's huge mining sector. Executives there say their breakthrough also brings them one step closer to large-scale electric vehicle battery recycling, thus "closing the loop on the energy metal cycle."

The technology development comes as analysts fear the industry will be hit with skyrocketing commodities prices as surging EV battery manufacturing results in shortages of critical materials. EV battery unit prices are seen falling further, improving their mainstream commercial appeal over time.

An industry outlook produced by PwC, also known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, warns that rapidly expanding EV production could lead to constraints in supplies of lithium, cobalt, nickel and possibly manganese. Prices for cobalt and lithium have already risen sharply as a result of rising demand from the EV industry, analysts there pointed out.

The Lithium Australia NL method, called SiLeach, allows the company to convert mine waste into lithium. Another step produces cathode materials that can be used in the manufacture of electric vehicles.

The process can be reversed, too, the company said. The next step is collecting used EV batteries and recovering their lithium content, to be then recycled for use in new battery packs.

Lithium Australia Chief Financial Officer Barry Woodhouse said in an interview that the potential doesn't end with lithium.

"We'll be extracting lithium, cobalt, nickel and whatever else is sitting in those batteries," he said.

Australia's Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has been tracking the nation's surging lithium sector as EV manufacturing in Asia expands. Australian mines supply the raw ore for lithium extraction, and exports have surged, with the nation's total export value of the ore expanding by a factor of six.

The department expects Australia's lithium dealers to hit over $1 billion in sales per year by the end of the decade should the global EV market continue growing.

But Woodhouse said it's time for his industry to embrace high-tech solutions to a looming EV materials supply shortage.

"We can no longer be the mine site of the world," he said. "We need to actually add value, and this is a great opportunity because Australia has most of the minerals that go into the construction of batteries."

The company also owns an old tin mine in Germany where it's working to supply materials for Europe's EV industry.

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Bipartisan Agreement: Energy Storage Is the Future of Renewable Energy

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, February 14, 2019

National Battery Day is February 18; Capitol Hill Briefing, New Video, Infographics Highlight Great Need for Batteries in Green Energy, Low-Carbon Transportation

Getting charged up about National Battery Day February 18, requires no batteries at all. Around the world, the need has never been greater for innovative storage solutions, especially advanced lead batteries. They have a 150-year proven track record and are poised to meet growing demand and future applications. The need for more research and investment in energy storage (synonymous with batteries) was made clear this week in Washington, D.C.

Capitol Hill Briefing: Bipartisan Agreement and Progressive Industry Research

Reports of divisions in Congress were disproved during a Capitol Hill briefing organized by Battery Council International on February 12, in advance of National Battery Day. California Rep. Mark Takano (Democrat) and New York Rep. Chris Collins (Republican) who serve as co-chairs of the Advanced Energy Storage Caucus, agreed that the need for research into energy storage is an area of alignment for both Democrats and Republicans.

Rep. Takano noted that he co-founded the caucus after a staff member provided him with a policy paper in 2015 that described energy storage as “the next big thing.” His goal is to advocate for advanced energy storage research and to explore policies that encourage battery storage development. “I’m passionate about this issue because [the] security and sustainability of our energy infrastructure affects every community across America.”

Takano added that “Energy storage is the future of renewable energy. Cheap grid-scale storage means that renewables can compete with fossil fuels on cost alone. This is not only better for our environment, but also makes our national grid more secure from natural disasters.”

Rep. Collins noted that energy storage means energy independence, “and that’s what’s good for America.” He said that the current downside of solar and wind power is that wind and sun aren’t always available, so “We have to store the energy in a way that’s real and sustainable, and the technology is not quite there … we need breakthroughs.” He stressed that the place for governmental funding is funding research, noting that the moon landing, semiconductors and other technological advancements are the result of government funding.

“In the energy storage world, if we’re going to be energy independent … and support all of the above [renewable sources], which includes modular nuclear, it’s always going to include some level of fossil fuels, [and] clean and efficient, it’s going to include wind and solar.” He recognized that many attending the briefing were Hill staffers. He advised them to “Bring this message back. ‘This is a good thing to support whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, and this is for America and its future. Energy independence is the holy grail of our future.’”

Takano’s closing message was to applaud the lead battery industry’s efforts, including lead battery recycling. “As we have honest conversations about batteries, battery storage and renewable energy, we cannot ignore the environmental life cycle of these batteries. I commend the leading science and business leaders who are pioneering developments on battery research. Together, we can pave the way for a sustainable future for every community.”

Following the supportive comments by the congressmen, Dr. Tim Ellis, president of Dallas-based RSR Technologies, was one of several experts who shared highlights on innovative lead battery research. “It’s a really exciting time for lead [batteries].” He cited ongoing research at Argonne National Laboratory to better understand the performance of lead batteries at the molecular level leading to better dynamic charging acceptance and improved cycle life.

Other panelists included representatives ranging from Argonne National Laboratory and The Sustainability Consortium, to the electric and gas utility company Ameren. Panelists stressed the importance of supporting lead battery research, in addition to the research underway with Argonne National Institute, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and others. The panelists addressed how the results will stretch the bounds of lead battery innovation and performance to meet the growing needs of electrification, renewable energy storage, the automotive industry, sustainable manufacturing and more.

To further convey that message, Essential Energy Everyday (EEE) has released a new video called "Future Powered by Lead Batteries", which describes how lead batteries are an indispensable part of our everyday lives and our green energy future. Lead batteries provide the energy for our growing global economy, supporting renewable energy, greener transportation and our critical infrastructure. EEE has also published two new infographics that highlight the role of lead batteries in combatting climate change using start-stop technology and electric vehicles (EVs).

Transportation: Lead Batteries Reduce Greenhouse Gases

Currently, transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Lead batteries are helping to reduce those emissions and boost fuel economy by supporting fuel-saving electric vehicles (EVs) and start-stop technology. Here are some facts:

  • By 2020, it’s predicted that advanced start-stop vehicles powered by lead batteries will eliminate two million tons of vehicle greenhouse gas emissions annually.
  • Lead batteries are used worldwide in virtually every hybrid and EV. EVs depend on lead batteries for critical safety and security functions. (A Tesla has one to power electronics.)
  • The growth of EVs depends, in part, on accessible, reliable public charging stations. Lead batteries store, regulate and ensure power at EV charging stations – even during extreme weather and peak energy demand.

Celebrating a 100% Recyclable Battery

There’s another reason to celebrate lead batteries on National Battery Day. Unlike other battery chemistries, lead batteries maintain an almost 100-percent recycling rate in the U.S. From design through recycling and re-use, the circular economy of lead batteries greatly reduces their environmental footprint. Lead batteries are the most environmentally sustainable battery technology and a leader in providing stored energy to meet our growing needs.

Learn More at Essential Energy Everyday

Essential Energy Everyday exists to increase awareness of the critical importance of lead batteries in powering our daily lives. It encourages continued investment in sustainable lead battery technology to store and provide energy on demand. Its initiative is supported by the two global trade associations that represent the lead battery and lead industries, Battery Council International and the International Lead Association.

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Doe Run’s $45,000 Donation Supports New Ventilation Lab Equipment at Missouri S&T

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, February 4, 2019

The Doe Run Company (Doe Run) has donated more than $45,000 to Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) to upgrade the university’s Mining Ventilation Laboratory.

Missouri S&T’s mining and explosives engineering department will use Doe Run’s donation to purchase equipment that helps students practice airflow management techniques. In addition to establishing the lab, Missouri S&T is seeking a new mine ventilation professor to oversee the lab and teach classes related to underground air ventilation.

“We are very grateful for this contribution, as it is critical to our ability to recruit a strong person to head up our research and education in mine ventilation,” said Dr. Kwame Awuah-Offei, interim director of the mining and explosives engineering department at Missouri S&T.

“The new ventilation lab equipment will give students hands-on experience that prepares them for another component of working underground,” said Steve Batts, vice president and chief operating officer at Doe Run. “Knowing how to manage airflow underground is a vital part of a mining operation, and helps increase safety and reduce mining costs. We are constantly working to provide proper airflow and we report on projects like this in our sustainability reports.”

Doe Run’s support of mining education helps train future miners and engineers. In Spring 2018, Doe Run supported Missouri S&T’s Summer Explosives Camp with two full-ride scholarships for students. Doe Run also hosted ten Missouri S&T students as summer interns, providing them with real-world job experience in mine, mechanical and environmental engineering, as well as information technology.

As a member of the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC), Doe Run joined NorthStar Battery and EnerSys to donate equipment and funding to Missouri S&T’s Microgrid Industrial Consortium in Fall 2018. The donation supported two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the campus’s EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to solar-powered houses designed and built by Missouri S&T students.

About The Doe Run Company

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company and a global provider of lead, copper and zinc concentrates. Dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral and metal production, Doe Run operates one of the world’s largest, single-site lead recycling centers, located in Boss, Missouri, and mines from one of the world’s largest lead mining districts, also in Missouri. The Doe Run Company and its subsidiaries deliver products and services necessary to provide power, protection and convenience. Doe Run has operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona. For more information, visit www.doerun.com.

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Crown Acquires Licensing Rights to Advanced Battery Concepts Bipolar Lead Battery Technology

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Friday, January 25, 2019

Advanced Battery Concepts is pleased to announce that Crown Battery Manufacturing Company, a lead battery manufacturer based in Fremont, Ohio, has acquired licensing rights to its full suite of GreenSeal® Bipolar Lead battery technologies. This is the sixth license agreement for ABC and the second in the last month.

With corporate and manufacturing operations located in Fremont, Ohio, Crown Battery produces an array of Industrial and SLI lead battery products, including a line of advanced AGM batteries. Crown Battery employs over 600 employees at its 12 sales and distribution offices throughout North America and serves a global network of original equipment manufacturers, agents, distributors and dealers.

Dr. Ed Shaffer, CEO and Founder of Advanced Battery Concepts commented "Hal Hawk, CEO of Crown Battery, has been a great supporter of ABC and Bipolar technology throughout the years, but now he is strengthening that support by having his company become a licensee and ambassador of GreenSeal® bipolar technology. Crown Battery's participation in all major battery markets will provide a great boost to this technology and allow them to capitalize in new market segments. We are thrilled to have Crown Battery as a partner.

Mr. Hawk, CEO of Crown Battery stated, "We are excited to increase our level of involvement with Advanced Battery Concepts and to expand Crown Battery's investment in advanced lead battery manufacturing. Crown Battery has worked closely with ABC's development team for a number of years now – and the licensing rights will allow us to decide how best to use it in our market space. We believe that bi-polar lead battery technology delivers significant competitive advantages over competing battery chemistries and see many potential uses for GreenSeal® technology.

With more efficient manufacturing, lower production costs and dramatically better performance than any existing lead battery technology, Advanced Battery Concepts' GreenSeal® is changing the lead battery paradigm.

Crown Battery is the latest company to acquire licensing rights to GreenSeal® technology and joins Advanced Battery Concepts five existing licensees, Johnson Controls Power Solutions, Enersys, Exide Industries, Trojan Battery Company and Monbat.

Advanced Battery Concepts is currently in licensing discussions with several other global lead battery producers and expects to have further announcements in 2019.

About Advanced Battery Concepts, LLC

Advanced Battery Concepts LLC is a global battery technology development company based in Michigan, USA, and is the first company to successfully design a bipolar lead battery and develop and implement a commercially viable manufacturing process for such batteries. Advanced Battery Concepts is currently working with existing lead battery producers and engaging licensees to realize the commercial potential of its technology, as well as on-going production of batteries and additional research from its Battery Research & Engineering Development Centre in Michigan to broaden its technology portfolio.

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Midtronics, Inc. Promotes Will Sampson to President

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Midtronics, Inc. CEO Steve McShane today announced the promotion of Will Sampson to President, effective immediately. The new role gives Sampson full responsibility for the company’s strategic direction, global growth and profitability going forward. McShane will continue in his role as CEO of the company, which he founded in 1984.

Sampson most recently served as Executive Vice President and General Manager with overall responsibility for the company’s Transportation division. He joined the company in 1994 and has served in several management roles in sales, product management and marketing, exhibiting a talent for developing, communicating and executing strategies to drive significant profitable growth.

“Will’s leadership and commitment to strategic growth has led to the development of great product platforms over the years,” said McShane. “Innovation from his teams has positioned us to meet future technology requirements in the rapidly evolving transportation market. Will’s leadership and alignment with our organization’s values have inspired my trust and the trust of the entire Midtronics team.”

About Midtronics

Midtronics is a worldwide leader and provider of battery testing and management products for transportation battery applications. Founded in 1984, Midtronics remains singularly focused on advancing battery management, supplying customers with innovative battery diagnostic equipment and management solutions. Beyond current technologies, Midtronics continues to develop new technologies and battery management solutions for new battery chemistries and vehicle systems. Visit www.midtronics.com for more information.

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Power Sonic Announces Reno Distribution Center in 2019

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Tuesday, January 22, 2019

To accommodate our growing customer base and increased inventory volumes, Power Sonic is pleased to announce the opening of a new warehouse operation in Reno, Nevada. We are currently targeting this new location to be open for business in early second quarter 2019.

Power Sonic is dedicated to maintaining and expanding its footprint in the battery industry to ensure that we execute on the fundamental value proposition of Quality, Service and Experience. This investment in a new distribution hub aids our growth and further improves our logistical capabilities. Power Sonic anticipates unprecedented growth in the coming year, and this growth necessitates a large new facility.

Our commitment to excellence, combined with our mission to continuously improve the customer experience, has earned our company the excellent reputation it holds today from our inception in 1970. As we aggressively push to expand our product line added warehouse locations like the facility in Reno, will be of paramount importance to continue to meet customer demand.

We look forward to a bright and fast paced 2019 and are thankful for the support and
dedication shown to us by our customers around the world.

Sincerely,

Brian D. Crowe
President, Battery Division
Power Sonic Corporation

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Gopher Resource Prepares to Capitalize on Battery Industry Growth, New Opportunities in Energy Storage

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Friday, January 4, 2019

Brian Leen Named New President and CEO; Eric Robinson Joins as Senior V.P., COO

Gopher Resource, a national environmental solutions provider based in Eagan, MN, has announced the recent appointment of Brian Leen to President and Chief Executive Officer. Most recently, Mr. Leen held the same position with ADA Carbon Solutions, based in Colorado. He replaces Jeffrey Jacobsen who retired in October and remains on the company’s board. Joining Mr. Leen on the executive leadership team is Eric Robinson in the newly created position of Senior Vice president and COO. Mr. Robinson is also joining Gopher Resource from ADA Carbon Solutions.

Jacobsen explained that in addition to Mr. Leen and Mr. Robinson’s combined 55 years of experience in the specialty chemicals and materials industries, both men have extensive knowledge of Gopher Resource. They are on the company’s board and were highly involved in the early 2018 acquisition of Gopher Resource by Energy Capital Partners, who also owned ADA Carbon Solutions.

“Brian is the right person to lead us during this very dynamic time in our industry. We’re confident that his leadership style and knowledge of the energy industry, along with Eric’s operational expertise, will take Gopher Resource to the next level of excellence. We’ll continue to honor our long-standing commitment to providing customers with the best experience in our industry, through safe and environmentally focused recycling.” Jacobsen said.

Mr. Leen expressed his enthusiasm for the company and its bright and exciting future: “The lead battery industry is in a time of great change and innovation. Battery manufacturers are working to enhance battery performance and protect the environment. Gopher Resource plays an incredibly important role ensuring that the end of life for these batteries are managed in a safe, clean and environmentally responsible way, while providing customers with the reliability, innovation and service that they need.

In his new role as Senior Vice President and COO, Robinson will focus on continual process improvement, quality control, and advancing overall safety and environmental standards.

About Brian Leen

Prior to joining Gopher Resource, Leen had been with ADA Carbon Solutions since 2010As President and Chief Executive Officer. He has over 25 years of experience in the specialty chemicals and materials business, largely with Sun Chemical Corporation. Leen holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from the University of Kentucky, and he is a graduate of the Executive Management Program from the University of Michigan.

 

 

About Eric Robinson

Eric Robinson has over 30 year of experience in operational, supply chain and marketing roles with companies such as HaloSource, FMC Corporation and Hexion. Prior to joining Gopher Resource as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2018, he held the same position with ADA Carbon Solutions. Eric holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Davis.

 

  

About Gopher Resource, LLC

Gopher Resource is a leading national environmental solutions provider whose core business is the safe recycling of lead batteries, followed by select household waste recycling. Through innovative facilities in Eagan, MN, and Tampa, FL, the company helps prevent over 26 million spent automotive, industrial and stationary batteries from going into landfills each year. Founded in 1946, Gopher Resource is owned by Energy Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in North America’s energy infrastructure. For more information visit GopherResource.com.

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