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Early-Stage Research Hints at Big Advancements Ahead in Lead Battery Energy Storage Innovation

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, December 12, 2019

                  CEOs Visit DOE National Laboratory to Review Collaborative Research Project

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2019 – A three-year scientific research project currently underway at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory is showing promising results to unlock the untapped potential of lead batteries. Lead batteries currently supply over 70% of the world’s rechargeable battery energy needs. Yet, possibilities exist to expand their performance to meet growing energy storage and transportation demands.

The project is funded by a joint industry CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement) comprised of more than 90% of the U.S. lead battery industry. They are working with Argonne scientists to study lead and its unrealized potential for batteries, which can be employed for both transportation and the nation’s energy infrastructure. The CRADA is part of the ongoing research and development by the lead battery and recycling industry, which spent more than $100 million in battery R&D in 2018, supports nearly 25,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs, and generates $26.3 billion in economic output.

Titled “Lead Battery Science Research Program (LBSRP),” the CRADA was formed on behalf of the American lead battery industry and is managed by Electric Applications Incorporated (EAI). As it enters its second year, CRADA partners, including members and staff of Battery Council International (BCI), the International Lead Association and the Consortium for Battery Innovation visited Argonne’s Chicago campus last month for a program update.

Early Results: Next-Gen Lead Batteries Ahead
“Although we’re in the early discovery stage with this project, we’re already seeing results that will help us to develop next-generation batteries to meet the huge growth in demand for reliable and secure energy storage,” said David Shaffer, president and CEO of EnerSys, a Pennsylvania-based battery manufacturer. Shaffer, who also leads the BCI board of directors, is interested in how the findings will translate to real world products.

“The goal of all our companies is to constantly improve performance in lead battery technology – especially cycle life and dynamic charge acceptance.” He said the work at Argonne further underscores the importance of government collaboration with American industry to develop next-generation batteries, manufactured domestically for use in vehicle and grid applications.

Argonne’s High-Tech Capabilities

Argonne is a pioneering science and engineering research center, where talented scientists and engineers work together toward pivotal discoveries to answer the biggest questions facing humanity. The lab has a strong battery research program and is home to the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. The APS provides ultra-bright, high-energy, storage ring-generated X-ray beams that allow researchers to see deep within a battery’s lead to identify complex chemical reactions in real-time.


Dr. Venkat Srinivasan, director of the Argonne Collaborative Center for Energy Storage Science (ACCESS), explained the significance of the research. “Look at where the world is going over the next 10, 20 and 30 years, and energy storage is crucial for all of that.” Though research findings are pending, Dr. Srinivasan, explained why Argonne is uniquely positioned to advance breathtaking innovation.


“We are able to assemble big teams to solve big problems,” said Dr. Srinivasan. The laboratory also has specialized equipment to facilitate research that few, if any, companies could build and operate on their own. “We want to move the ideas we have out to industry, and what you [the lead battery industry] are doing is critical to us.”


Lead Batteries: Proven, Reliable, Sustainable
The transition to greater decarbonization, driven by a desire for renewable energy sources that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, will require a portfolio of battery chemistries and technologies to meet the demand. The lead battery industry offers a proven and reliable technology that can be delivered today, at scale, and sourced from domestic materials, unlike newer battery technologies.


Truly “clean” energy demands a sustainability profile, as exemplified by lead batteries’ closed-loop model recognized by the World Economic Forum as a perfect example of a circular economy. The nationwide infrastructure of the lead battery industry keeps more than 129 million lead batteries out of landfills annually by recycling 99% of lead batteries.

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Note to Editors: Photos of the inside of the laboratory are available, please contact Lisa Dry, 202-367-1240, ldry@batterycouncil.org. Additional information on the CRADA project is available here: https://essentialenergyeveryday.com/argonne-lab-lead-batteries/.

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 and future. 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.

About Battery Council International
Battery Council International is the North American trade association representing lead-based battery manufacturing, supply, recycling and distribution companies. For more information, visit Battery Council International.

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Lead Battery Industry Issues New National Recycling Rate Study

Posted By Marianna Lovo, Thursday, November 14, 2019

Results Confirm Circular Economy Success;

Lead Batteries Remain Most Recycled U.S. Consumer Product

 

WASHINGTON, November 14, 2019 – In conjunction with America Recycles Day (November 15), Battery Council International (BCI) has issued its biennial report on the recycling rate of lead batteries in the U.S. Most notable is the lead battery industry’s continued success in designing for – and creating – a successful end-of-life circular economy for spent lead batteries. The report confirms EPA’s recycling comparison[i] showing that the 99% recycling rate of lead batteries makes them the most recycled consumer product in the U.S.

Kevin M. Moran is executive vice president of BCI. He said the report, titled National Recycling Rate Study, reinforces the lead battery industry’s successful circular infrastructure, using data through 2018.

“Our industry’s nationwide lead battery collection and recycling infrastructure continues to produce a near-perfect recycling rate of 99%. The primary components – plastic, acid and lead – become a valuable domestic resource used to create new lead batteries that contain more than 80% recycled material.”

Moran believes the report is particularly timely, given climate change concerns. “This data further reinforces that lead batteries are a smart, sustainable choice to support the growth in renewable energy storage and green transportation, such as start-stop technology, hybrids and electric vehicles.” Lead batteries provide the battery power for more than 275 million U.S. vehicles and more than 70% of the world’s rechargeable power.

The EPA will culminate its weeklong celebration of America Recycles Week by holding its second annual Recycling Summit on November 15. According to Moran, it’s fitting that BCI marks the occasion with a study that confirms the role of lead batteries in the circular economy.

“As a signatory to EPA’s America Recycles Pledge, BCI is honored to participate in ceremonies with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to recognize the contribution from industries like ours to create infrastructure and products to ensure a sustainable future,” said Moran.

The U.S. lead battery industry keeps more than 129 million lead batteries out of landfills annually. Its state-of-the-art closed-loop process is recognized by the World Economic Forum and MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics as the world’s most successful example of a circular economy.

About the Study

The study was produced by SmithBucklin  of Chicago and commissioned by BCI. The methodology for calculating the recycling rate considers new battery shipments, battery exports, imports of products containing a battery and imports of scrap lead and used batteries.

 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 and future. 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.

 About Battery Council International

Battery Council International is the North American trade association representing lead-based battery manufacturing, supply, recycling and distribution companies. For more information on the association, visit batterycouncil.org.  

View a video of the recycling process here: http://aboutbatteries.batterycouncil.org/How-do-I-recycle-my-lead-battery



[i] https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-07/documents/2015_smm_msw_factsheet_07242018_fnl_508_002.pdf, pg. 10

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Lead Battery Industry Partners With EPA to Celebrate #Vetsrecycle

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Friday, November 8, 2019

Companies Highlight Veterans Who Are “Recycling Heroes”

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 7, 2019 – This Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11), as part of America Recycles Week (Nov. 10–16), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is celebrating the role of veterans in contributing to recycling and creating a more resilient materials economy.

On Monday, Nov. 11, EPA, Keep America Beautiful and the Department of Defense will host a special event to recognize Recycling Heroes within the military. The lead battery industry has contributed the personal stories of some of its own employee veterans who are an important segment of the industry’s workforce. With nearly 25,000 employees, the lead battery manufacturing and recycling industry finds veterans’ military training provides the foundation for excellent leadership ability, flexibility and the drive to get things done.

The industry employs many veterans, including Kevin M. Moran, executive vice president of Battery Council International (BCI). He advocates for all members in every facet of the industry. BCI is also one of more than 160 organizations who have signed EPA’s America Recycles Pledge and actively participates with the agency to improve America’s recycling system.

“With its 99% recycling rate, the lead battery industry is a leader in creating a circular economy and being a model for other battery chemistries – and industries – in how to responsibly design, make, use, recycle and remanufacture materials.” Moran served as an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army and Active Reserves, attaining the rank of staff sergeant.

Moran noted that the lead battery industry, in particular, is thriving. A recent economic study found a nearly 20% increase in reported direct jobs since 2016, with nearly 15% of those jobs exclusively in lead battery recycling. Below, veterans use their own words to share the importance of recycling.

Exide Technologies: Employing Veterans in Canon Hollow, Mo.

Billy Broadhead is the health and safety manager at Canon Hollow. He joined Exide after serving in the United States Marine Corps and has nine years of service in active and reserve duty.

“The battery recycling industry provides many different jobs that are well-suited for military veterans,” Broadhead said. “Recycling really begins with the employment of those who mine or produce the raw materials, those who work to deliver the raw materials (land, rail, water), those who produce the product from the raw materials, those who deliver the finished goods, those who sell the finished goods, and on and on, until the used batteries are delivered to a lead battery recycler to safely recover raw materials to start the process again. Recycling is extremely beneficial to the environment and our U.S. economy.”

Shane Anderson served in the Army National Guard for six years before joining Exide as a transportation supervisor. He shared his view that recycling batteries is not only vital to our environmental well-being, but it also helps keep battery prices sustainable and provides much-needed employment.

“Many recycling facilities in the U.S. are in areas that do not have many job opportunities. The jobs the recycling industry provides are valuable to individuals and the communities where they live.”

Nathanael Loew has been with Exide since 2015 and is an Army veteran with four years of service in Operation Desert Storm. As the blast furnace production leader, he works alongside fellow Army veteran Paul Miller who has been with Exide for over 20 years. Miller and Loew experience firsthand the thousands of lead batteries that are recycled daily in Canon Hollow.

“Recycling lead batteries is a win-win,” Loew stated. “We keep the batteries out of the environment and recycle resources that can be used to manufacture new batteries, ensuring that we never run out of the raw materials we need to produce new lead batteries to power the world forward.”

Interstate Batteries Recycling: Employing Former U.S. Coast Guard Expert

Tod Lyons joined Interstate Batteries Recycling more than 10 years ago and is its communications and sustainability manager. He came to the job with more than two decades of active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard. His duty assignments included two tours with the Coast Guard’s National Strike Force who are considered experts in oil and chemical spill clean-up and environmental remediation. Lyons was also a first responder to the terrorist attacks on The World Trade Center in New York City in Sept. 2001.

Lyons believes that expanding recycling creates job opportunities for veterans and all Americans. “In the recycling industry, the three Rs - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – offer employment in skilled and unskilled positions to manage the use of raw materials for the production of new goods. Recycling extends the life of many products … creating job opportunities for veterans and others in every state in the U.S. and around the world.” 

He also noted that, “With natural elements, minerals and resources diminishing, it is important that we find ways to get the most life expectancy out of a product. For those of us with a heart for the environment, it makes sense to safely recycle everything we can to make the best use of the diminishing resources we have and protect our environment for generations to come.”

East Penn Manufacturing: Founded by Air Force Veteran

East Penn Manufacturing operates the largest single-site lead battery manufacturing facility in the world. Since its earliest days recycling in a one-room battery shop in 1946, sustainability has been a core value. So has East Penn’s support for military personnel and their families.

East Penn’s founder, DeLight Breidegam, Jr., was an Air Force veteran, and he understood the need for such support. The company continues to hire veterans like Assistant Plant Manager Barry Frain.

“When I was deployed, East Penn continued to contribute to, and maintain, health insurance for me and my family. Normally, you would switch to military insurance during deployment, but East Penn’s philosophy is that when you are deployed, they don’t want you worried about what’s happening at home, but instead to focus on where you are. Leadership also checked in with my family while I was gone. It’s a support network that’s tremendous.”

Because of its consistent support, this year East Penn received the Seven Seals Award from the ESGR (Employee Support of The Guard and Reserve). The Seven Seals Award is presented in recognition of significant individual or organizational achievement, initiative or support.

These are just a few of the outstanding employees who support a growing industry that keeps people mobile and connected. In addition, BCI member companies participate in dozens of programs to help service members transition to the private workforce, including Heroes Make America, Veteran Jobs Mission, Allies in Service, and more.

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Note to editors: Photos of the named veterans are available from both their time in service and today; please contact ldry@batterycouncil.org

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 and future. 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.

 

About Battery Council International

Battery Council International is the North American trade association representing lead-based battery manufacturing, supply, recycling and distribution companies. For more information on the association, visit batterycouncil.org.  

 

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THE DOE RUN COMPANY INVITES FAMILIES TO 15TH ANNUAL FALL ROCKS EVENT

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, October 7, 2019

ST. LOUIS (Oct. 7, 2019) – The 15th annual Fall Rocks celebration returns to the Missouri Mines State Historic Site Powerhouse Museum in Park Hills, Missouri, on Saturday, October 26 from 5-8 p.m. Co-sponsored by the Missouri Mines State Historic Site and The Doe Run Company (Doe Run), the family-friendly event features activities that teach children about Missouri’s natural resources. Fall Rocks is free and open to the public.

“We love that Fall Rocks gives us a chance to introduce children to the importance of minerals in our everyday lives,” said Brian Mangogna, general manager at Doe Run’s Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division (SEMO). “And, we get to instill pride in our region because Missouri mining helps supply vital minerals to the world, like the lead that is used in batteries to start our cars and that stores essential energy from solar panels and wind farms.”

Hard hat decorating, cookie mining, toothpaste making, and minerals trivia are just a few of the activities that families can look forward to this year. Free refreshments will also be provided throughout the event. Doe Run staff and volunteers will run the activity stations, and state park staff will be available to answer questions about mining and minerals in the Old Lead Belt. The Powerhouse Museum will be open for guests to explore exhibits about the history of mining technology.

The Missouri Mines State Historic Site is located at 4000 State Highway 32 in Park Hills, which is on the south side of Highway 32 at the Flat River Drive overpass, 1.5 miles west of U.S. Highway 67.

For more information, contact Art Hebrank at the Powerhouse Museum at (573) 431-6226 or Kim Midgett at (573) 244-8113, or visit https://mostateparks.com/event/82381/15th-annual-fall-rocks.

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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U.S. LEAD BATTERY INDUSTRY SHOWS 20% JOB GROWTH, $26.3 BILLION IN ECONOMIC IMPACT ANNUALLY

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, October 3, 2019

New Study Reveals Thriving Lead Battery Industry Keeps Americans

Mobile and Connected in Modern, Green Economy

 

CHICAGO — October 3, 2019 — Today, as the U.S. approaches Manufacturing Day 2019, a new study finds the lead battery industry is thriving. At the close of 2018, it showed a 20% increase in reported direct jobs since that information was last collected in 2016. In all, the industry reported nearly 25,000 direct jobs across 38 states and 92,000 total jobs when factoring in suppliers and worker spending in different industries.  

The study also noted the U.S. lead battery industry contributed $26.3 billion in total economic output to the national economy. Included in that number is $10.9 billion in gross domestic product and $2.4 billion in government revenue.

The study, Economic Contribution of the U.S. Lead Battery Industry, was prepared by the EDR Group at the request of Essential Energy Everyday and Battery Council International (BCI). The findings demonstrate the economic benefits lead battery manufacturers and recyclers provide to thousands of American workers and their communities. Cumulatively, industry workers earn $6 billion annually in livable wages that provide access to the middle class, regardless of workers’ education level. Relative to other industry sectors, employees of the lead battery industry earn high salaries. On average, salaries among mining and recycling employees reached $98,100, while manufacturing employees saw salaries of $64,000.

Study respondents also reported spending more than $100 million on research and development, which has driven additional long-term job creation and other economic impacts. Kevin Moran, executive vice president of BCI, expects further industry growth, given the essential nature of lead batteries and their successful and sustainable model of a circular economy.

“Lead batteries keep Americans mobile and connected by powering more than 275 million cars and trucks and supporting a communications infrastructure of more than $1 trillion.” Moran further explained, “Lead batteries also play an increasingly important role in cost-effective energy storage, as the demand for renewable energy increases. And, with a 99% recycling rate, they feed a circular economy that creates additional green jobs.”

Moran noted a lead battery’s role in green transportation as a key growth factor. He said start-stop vehicle technology using advanced lead batteries removes 4.5 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually in the U.S.  Lead batteries also enable growth in electric vehicles by providing critical safety and security functions. To accelerate the rollout of electric vehicles, one pilot project is studying the battery’s ability to store energy and manage electricity demand in charging stations

“Our industry is proud of its contribution to the national economy and our role in the circular economy as a provider of green jobs and technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The employment we’re providing is giving Americans a foothold to the middle class, in an era when many manufacturing jobs are in decline,” Moran concluded.

The full study and methodology can be found here.

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Note to editors: The study author is available to interview and additional graphics are available for publication. Contact Lisa Dry ldry@batterycouncil.org

Learn More at Essential Energy EverydayEssential Energy Everyday exists to increase awareness of the critical importance of lead batteries in powering our daily lives and future. 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.

About Battery Council International Battery Council International is the North American trade association representing the lead-based battery manufacturing, supply, recycling and distribution companies. For more information on the association, visit batterycouncil.org.  

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Meet BCI's New Board Member: Brian Leen, President and CEO, Gopher Resource, LLC

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, September 23, 2019

Brian Leen was appointed to the Board of Directors of Gopher Resource, LLC, in early 2018 and joined the company as President and CEO in December of that year. Previously, Mr. Leen served as President and Chief Executive Officer of ADA Carbon Solutions, LLC, a leading producer of activated carbon for the mercury control industry. Mr. Leen has over 25 years of experience in the specialty chemicals and materials industry. Under his leadership, ADA Carbon Solutions grew to become the largest provider of mercury control technology to the coal fired power industry, increasing its market share of activated carbon fivefold in eight years. Prior to joining ADA Carbon Solutions in 2010, he was President of the North American printing ink operations for Sun Chemical Corporation, a global provider of printing inks and pigments with approximately $3.5 billion in revenues and 10,000 employees. He also led the Performance Pigments Group of Sun Chemical. Mr. Leen has a diverse background running global businesses and a track record for driving growth. He serves on the Board of Directors of Advanced Emissions Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADES) and has participated on a number of private boards. Mr. Leen holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Kentucky and is a graduate of the Executive Management Program at the University of Michigan.

How did you get involved in the lead battery industry?

In my previous role as the CEO for ADA Carbon Solutions, its private equity sponsor, Energy Capital Partners, asked me to help with its diligence of Gopher Resource. I was immediately drawn to, and impressed by the lead battery industry, the company and the management team. I was surprised to learn that lead batteries are the most recycled consumer product in the United States, with a recycling rate of over 99%.  I was also impressed with the long and successful history of Gopher Resource and its reputation for quality, environmental leadership, productivity and customer focus.

Shortly after Energy Capital Partners successfully acquired Gopher Resource in March of 2018, I joined the board. Then, after the sale of ADA Carbon Solutions, Energy Capital Partners asked me to join Gopher Resource as President and CEO, and I happily agreed. The lead battery industry is not without its challenges; however, I see a bright future for the industry and the role of Gopher Resource in it. I’m excited to be part of this important work and to have joined a terrific team.

What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry?

I’m new to the industry, but I’ve been told that the pace of change has been dramatic and continues to accelerate. Although my perspective on the past is limited, I can see the change in front of us, and it is significant, presenting challenges as well as opportunities. One opportunity that I see is the continued development of new and diverse applications for stored power and the pace of innovation among battery manufacturers to meet those demands. Our role in supporting those efforts is in producing the alloys necessary to enable these new technologies. 

Additionally, I see environmental activism against our industry intensifying. Although the examples often cited pertain to practices in other countries, it has become very clear to me that this is a global issue that will impact us all. I believe that we need to address these issues proactively in three ways.

First, we need to adopt a continuous improvement approach to environmental stewardship. Gopher Resource has done that. Emissions of SO2 and ambient lead have continued to decrease, while our volume of spent batteries processed has increased. Second, we need to educate people domestically about the positive contributions of lead batteries to the environment. Few people realize that the reduction in CO2 emissions due to start/stop technology would not be possible without advances in lead battery technology. Plus, the lead battery industry is arguably one of the best examples of a closed loop, circular economy and a model of sustainability. Lastly, and coming back to the global issue, I believe we need to do all we can to proliferate safe and environmentally responsible recycling everywhere it is done. Lead exposure is inarguably harmful. We have proven in our plants and in our domestic industry that we can recycle batteries safely and prevent harmful effects in those who work in our plants, as well as in the communities where we operate. We can and should share those best practices with others and work toward achieving the same standards of environmental stewardship everywhere batteries are recycled.

What do you value about BCI?

Having worked in many other industries, it’s reassuring and exciting to see the level of activity in BCI. I am most excited about the recent announcement of cooperation between BCI, ILA, EUROBAT, and ABR on the Materials Stewardship Program. It’s an important first step in establishing standards and sharing best practices related to the safe and environmentally responsible handling of lead. As I mentioned earlier, I believe this is an important responsibility of our industry and critical to our collective future.

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Meet BCI's New Board Member: Timothy Vargo, Chairman, President and CEO, Exide Technologies

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, September 23, 2019

 Timothy (Tim) D. Vargo is Chairman of the Board and Board Member, President and Chief ExecutiveOfficer of Exide Technologies, a global provider of stored electrical-energy solutions for transportation and industrial markets. Mr. Vargo retired from Kele Incorporated, a leading distributor of building automation and HVAC products, in April 2017 where he served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director since 2010. He brings more than 40 years of leadership and managerial experience in capital allocation and restructuring, automotive supply chain and process improvement. Previously, Mr. Vargo served as President and Chief Executive Officer of TruckPro, Inc., a heavy-duty truck parts distributor. Under his leadership, TruckPro significantly improved sales strategies and store operations. Prior to TruckPro, he was the President and Chief Operating Officer of AutoZone where he was instrumental in formulating and executing the growth strategy that took the company from 1,000 stores to 3,250 stores and sales from $1.5 billion to over $5 billion.

How did you get involved in the lead battery industry?

I've had the pleasure of knowing Exide as a business for most of my entire professional career in the automotive aftermarket. Having served on the Board of Exide for a couple of years prior to becoming CEO, I became very familiar with the lead battery industry overall.

I've also been a car guy my whole life and using reliable batteries was always an important part of enjoying that experience. I learned a lot about lead batteries at a young age when I sold them in an auto parts store as well.

What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry?

Innovation is critical in our industry to ensure that batteries continually become “smarter” to meet new demands from customers, markets and environmental regulations. We are not operating in a “one-size-fits-all” industry, meaning that we have to develop the best battery for each market we serve, taking into account numerous industry trends and factors that impact battery operation.

We are seeing a shift for continuous innovation in the lead chemistry in both the transportation and industrial markets in order to increase efficiencies and to be more environmentally friendly.

On the transportation side of the business, in Europe there has been a focus on reducing CO2 emissions. Exide has been a leader in introducing innovative lead batteries to meet those new environmental requirements. In fact, in 2004 Exide was first-to-market with the AGM battery technology in Europe for Start-Stop applications, which significantly helped car manufacturers improve fuel economy. We have also successfully brought to market the Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB) in the European market and recently in the Americas market to give our customers even more choices in battery technology to enhance fuel economy and reduce emissions.  

On the industrial side of the business, utilizing other battery chemistries to meet the unique energy requirements of our customers has changed the product portfolio the industry offers. At Exide, lithium-ion options have been a part of our offering since 2013, leading the way in both Europe and the Americas markets. Additionally, we have incorporated IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities as a means to better understand our customers' energy challenges and to design customized solutions from our wide bench of motive power technologies. This is truly an innovative approach to helping our customers find better solutions.

In the future, I see our industry using IoT and other data-enabled tools to bring new opportunities to add value to our battery technologies across all chemistries and applications.

On the environmental side, Exide has worked hard to make sure that we have fulfilled our obligations to change our processes to meet current standards. We are committed to providing clean air for our employees and we embrace the current standards for air quality, water quality and soil quality. We work hard every day to make sure we are good stewards of the environment.

What do you value about BCI?

 BCI brings our industry a platform from which we can unify and amplify our efforts to communicate the value and importance the lead battery industry brings to the world’s energy needs. The lead battery industry has been around for a long time and has quietly powered cars, forklifts, submarines and aircrafts. BCI helps us tell our story and share the success of the lead battery industry in terms of innovation and the circular economy with a 99% recycling rate. BCI also provides a forum for our industry to stay up-to-date on important legislative matters and other policy changes.

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DOE RUN OPENS ITS MINES FOR FREE TOURS DURING OLD MINERS DAYS

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, September 16, 2019

Festival celebrates Missouri’s mining history with a parade, carnival rides, music and more

VIBURNUM, Mo. (Sept. 16, 2019) — On Oct. 4-6, The Doe Run Company (Doe Run) and the Viburnum community will celebrate the region’s mining history at the 33rd Annual Old Miners Days festival. The event includes free tours of Doe Run’s mines on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Mining has been a part of Missouri’s history for more than 300 years,” said Brian Mangogna, general manager at Doe Run’s Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division (SEMO). “Those early miners would be amazed to see the technologies transforming how we work today. In many cases, we’re one of the first mining companies to pilot new innovations, like Railveyor, an automated electrically powered underground light rail system. Innovation is important in order to keep Doe Run a leader in the lead mining industry for many years to come.”

During Old Miners Days, visitors are invited to go roughly 1,250 feet underground to see a working lead mine. The mines are cavernous, with roadways large enough to accommodate haul trucks, and feature glittering rock faces and dramatic rock pillars. Guests 12 and older can register at Doe Run’s Old Miners Days booth, and buses will transport guests to and from the site.

“This is one of our favorite weekends of the entire year,” said Mangogna. “We live and work in this community too, and enjoy the opportunity to show our neighbors what modern mining actually looks like.”

More than 100 Doe Run employees volunteer their time each year to make Old Miners Days a success. Above ground, mining equipment, such as haul trucks and loaders, will be on display, along with an area where children can see how the equipment works by moving sand with remote-controlled loaders.

Old Miners Days is a celebration of the Viburnum area's rich history as one of the world’s largest lead mining districts. The annual event attracts thousands of visitors to enjoy music, food and family-friendly activities. The variety of entertainment provides fun for any age, including a parade, car show, musical performances, children’s games, and more. The events will take place next to the Viburnum High School on the Viburnum Center parking lot. Learn more about Old Miners Days, including a full schedule of events, at https://www.oldminersdays.com/.

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 and sustainability.doerun.com.

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GOPHER RESOURCE AWARDED ENERGY INNOVATION GRANT FROM U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Funding will help advance recycling innovation, U.S. energy agenda

ST. PAUL, MN (SEPT 5, 2019) – Gopher Resource, a national environmental solutions provider based in Eagan, MN, has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). As one of seven grant recipients, Gopher Resource will share the $2 million in federal funding on projects meant to advance the national energy innovation agenda.

Gopher Resource partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN, with assistance from Gas Technology Institute of Des Plaines, IL, to secure the grant. Leading the effort at Gopher Resource were employees Dr. Joseph Grogan, who is vice president of research and development, and Dr. Alexandra Anderson, the project’s principle investigator. Anderson said the collaboration with Oak Ridge will be a major leap for lead battery recycling innovation. (Lead batteries have a 99.3% recycling rate, making them the most recycled consumer product in the U.S. and a model for creating a sustainable circular economy.)

“This is a tremendous partnership and an exciting first for the lead battery industry to further enhance furnace efficiency and reduce energy use,” Anderson explained. “Together, we’ll use cutting-edge multiphysics modeling tools to push the current boundaries of productivity for secondary lead furnaces.”

According to the USGS 2019 Lead Mineral Commodity Summary, in 2018, secondary lead production in the U.S. provided for more than 70% of the total lead demand and was estimated to have a total U.S. market value of $3 billion. Grogan said he’s optimistic that new discoveries will allow major lead battery recyclers, like Gopher Resource, to supply even more high-quality, low-cost lead to advanced lead battery manufacturers. In turn, the new lead batteries will help meet the nation’s rapidly growing demand for energy storage.

Gopher Resource President and CEO, Brian Leen, remarked on the company’s commitment to innovation in becoming the best environmental solutions provider in the lead recycling space.

“The grant from the Department of Energy recognizes Gopher Resource as a leader in innovation and supports our ongoing quest to maximize the efficiency and productivity of lead battery recycling. The important work by our R&D team, led by Dr. Joe Grogan, is a critical component in the country’s energy future.” He added, “Advances in the safety, productivity and sustainability of the recycling process resulting from this work are important for our industry and our customers.”

The award is part of the High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation Initiative, a DOE-wide effort comprising EERE, the Office of Fossil Energy, the Office of Science, and the National Laboratories system. The initiative helps to leverage the National Laboratories’ high performance computing capabilities to address opportunities and advancements in manufacturing and materials through state-of-the-art modeling, simulation and data analysis.

About Gopher Resource

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 is a model of sustainable circular economic success. Gopher Resource helps prevent over 26 million spent automotive, industrial and stationary batteries from going into landfills each year and ensures their reuse into valuable, new consumer products. 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 Gopher Resource.

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Industry Associations Join Forces and Commit to Improve Global Health, Safety and Environmental Performance in the Lead Battery Supply Chain

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, September 9, 2019

LONDON (Sept. 9, 2019) ---  The lead production and lead battery industries have joined forces to advance environmentally responsible production and recycling worldwide to keep pace with the growing demand for energy storage. 

Industry associations representing businesses involved in advanced lead and lead battery manufacturing and lead production have signed a memorandum of cooperation. It is designed to help improve standards in those countries where informal recycling is dominant, while maintaining the highest standards worldwide.

The agreement is to formalize on-going industry efforts and collaboration to improve recycling practices in low and middle-income countries, where regulations and industry safety standards are either inadequate, non-existent or ineffectively enforced.

Improper and unregulated battery recycling of all battery chemistries can cause serious health risks for employees and nearby communities. However, the value of the lead and other materials from recycling used batteries drives some communities to undertake improper recycling despite the risks.

In Europe and the United States, lead battery manufacturing and recycling is rigorously regulated and takes place within stringent safety and environmental standards that deliver a closed-loop circular economy where more than 99 per cent of used batteries are recycled. However, as demand for energy storage using batteries is set to grow it could be matched by an uptick in the informal recycling sector in other regions of the world.

Battery Council International Executive Vice President Kevin Moran, speaking on behalf of the four associations, said, "We want to ensure that manufacturing and recycling of lead batteries worldwide meet standards that protect human health and the environment. There must be an end to the dangerous and inappropriate use of substandard recycling operations, but this will take time and will require a coordinated effort involving multiple stakeholders.

"We acknowledge that we can play a significant role by using our commercial influence to encourage environmentally sound practices, by sharing best practice with governments, regulators and NGOs and by undertaking appropriate levels of due diligence to reduce the probability that battery raw materials produced through unsound practices do not end up in our supply chain."

Rene Schroeder, EUROBAT executive director, said, "European battery manufacturers are committed to protecting the environment and employees. All batteries are essential in Europe's ambition to decarbonize its energy and mobility systems. The material stewardship program for lead batteries, which we're supporting, is an important sign of our commitment to an environmentally and socially sustainable lead battery industry, which operates to the highest standards."

The battery and lead manufacturing industries, represented by the International Lead Association, Battery Council International, the European battery association EUROBAT and the Association of Battery Recyclers, have signed a binding memorandum of cooperation as part of a program of responsible material stewardship.

Building on this agreement, the associations' joint project team will develop principles and guidelines designed to:

  • Promote responsible sourcing and prevent material entering the market from recyclers who fail to establish controls and processes to protect public health and the environment;
  • Encourage continuous improvement in the environmental and health and safety performance of member companies;
  • Encourage the development of producer responsibility programs so that there is market driven collection of the companies' batteries at end-of-life and recycling under environmentally sound conditions;
  • Support best practice sharing and provide support to improve health and environmental standards in low and middle-income countries;
  • Enhance transparency by reporting progress to interested stakeholders.

Dr. Andy Bush, managing director of the International Lead Association added, "The companies represented by our associations are committed to setting the highest standards of health and safety and good environmental stewardship. We want these standards to apply worldwide to support sustainable lead battery value chains. We acknowledge that to be successful in this goal we must work with others and widen the outreach of our initiative by involving associations representing member companies with interests in Asia, Africa and beyond."

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Notes to editors:

  1. For more information, please contact the following media offices: 
  1. The International Lead Association has been supporting the lead battery recycling industry with technical expertise advising businesses, governments and communities around the world on the safe and environmentally sound recycling of used lead batteries for more than two decades. Read more here.
     

About ILA

The International Lead Association is the trusted global trade association for the lead industry and its member companies are at the forefront of the mining, smelting, refining and recycling of lead. ILA represents the producers of about 3 million tonnes of lead. The association is working towards a vision of a sustainable global lead industry that is recognized for the positive contribution it makes to society. 

About Battery Council International
Battery Council International is the North American trade association representing the lead-based battery manufacturing, supply, recycling and distribution companies. For more information on the association, visit www.batterycouncil.org.

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