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Leaders at The Battery Show Call for Lead-Acid Renaissance in EVs

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Battery industry leaders made a case yesterday for automakers to consider lead-acid chemistries as the car industry moves toward increased electrification.

Two keynote speakers at The Battery Show outside Detroit said that new versions of the nearly 150-year-old lead-acid battery technology might be better suited than lithium-ion for near-term applications in hybrid cars, mild hybrids, and micro-hybrid vehicles. The speakers said they see lead-acid as an alternative to lithium-ion in certain applications and not as a replacement for it in fully battery-powered vehicles.

”There is no silver bullet when it comes to battery technology,” noted Subhash Dhar, CEO of Energy Power Systems, at The Battery Show’s "Leaders Debate" forum. “Whether we talk about lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, nickel-metal hydride, or lithium-ion, every chemistry has a value proposition for its given application.”

In particular, Dhar cited start-stop vehicles, which need long cycle life and low cost in their batteries, as candidates for lead-acid chemistries. He also said that lead-acid makes more sense than lithium-ion in mild hybrids and full hybrids, which typically use relatively small battery capacities of just 1 kWh or 1.5 kWh. “While lithium-ion is a high-performance battery, it does have high costs associated with it,” he said. “We need to come up with a low-cost solution that’s acceptable to the user community.”

Dhar was one of two speakers at the Leaders Debate who supported lead-acid. Robert Flicker, chief operating officer of East Penn Manufacturing, also argued that automakers need to consider lead-acid beyond the traditional SLI (starting, lighting, and ignition) applications. East Penn is conducting its own field tests on hybridized, lead-acid versions of the Honda Insight, Honda Civic, Volkswagen Passat, and Ford Focus, he said. It is also working on lead-acid-based vehicles with 42 V electrical architectures.

Also at the show, the Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium displayed a Dodge Ram truck that combines lead-carbon batteries with a natural-gas-powered engine. The truck uses the lead-acid batteries as part of a start-stop system that helps reduce emissions and fuel costs.

Flicker argued that lead-acid makes particularly good sense in applications that don’t require high energy and a long driving range. There, he said, lead-acid’s low cost could be desirable. ”If we want to have a true impact on CO2, then we have to focus on what’s cost effective,” he told an audience of engineers in his keynote.

Experts at the show said that advanced lead-acid-based battery systems cost about $100/kWh, whereas finished lithium-ion packs typically cost between $200/kWh and $300/kWh and sometimes more.

Asked whether the US Advanced Battery Consortium’s 25-year quest to create a “Holy Grail” battery should continue, keynote speakers were unanimous in saying that the quest should be broadened. “We need to come up with a systematic approach to combine the technologies we have today, as opposed to spending all our time on the Holy Grail,” said Dhar.

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Microporous Fills Key Positions to Meet Growth and Leadership Commitments

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, September 21, 2015


Microporous Fills Key Positions

to Meet Growth and Quality Leadership Commitments


(Piney Flats, Tenn.) Microporous, a leading developer and manufacturer of separators for lead-acid batteries, announces several additions to the company’s engineering and manufacturing teams. These appointments include Roger Calloway as Site Manager of the Piney Flats, Tenn., facility; Matt Smith and Doug Lopez as Process Engineers; and John Daugherty as Maintenance Manager.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Roger, Doug, Matt and John aboard during this exciting period of growth for our company,” says Microporous President Jean-Luc Koch. “They are each recognized as best in their field. Their combined 75 years of experience in PE separator manufacturing is a very rare asset in our industry and will help accelerate our development plans, especially when coupled with all the other talents we have attracted over the last 1.5 years.”

“We are finalizing the installation of our 3rd production line in Feistritz, Austria. When completed at the end of 2015, our global annual capacity will reach 25 Million m2 of Industrial separators and 60 Million m2 of Automotive separators. This is pretty much 1/3rd more from where we started at the end of 2013 and was a major requirement by our customer base. We are delighted to continue growing with our long-term partners and now will be able to honor additional supply requests that we receive from all parts of the world.”

Microporous Vice President of Operations Peter Gaugl says that “Producing the highest quality products requires constant improvement and strengthening of highly complex manufacturing processes, which, when combined with demanding productivity requirements, necessitates deep expertise and constant focus of the entire operations group. In line with our commitments, we have filled between our U.S. and Austrian operations more than 20 technical positions over the last 18 months. We firmly intend to maintain and further extend our quality leadership.” 

About Microporous:

Microporous is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance rubber, polyethylene (PE) and hybrid battery separators for flooded lead acid batteries. Separators are a highly engineered, mission-critical component of lead acid batteries. The company’s separators are used by battery manufacturers for applications such as golf car, forklift, standby power, Starting Lighting and Ignition (“SLI”) for automobiles and trucks, or renewable energy. The company supplies a customer base located across 25 countries and five continents. Microporous currently operates two plants, one in Piney Flats, Tenn., and one in Feistritz, Austria. For more information, please visit


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Saft America Receives $6.13 Million USABC Award

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Saft America receives $6.13 million USABC award for lithium-ion stop-start
 battery technology development

JACKSONVILLE, FL, Aug. 31, 2015 – Saft America Inc. today announced it received a competitively bid, $6.13 million award from the United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for 12-volt stop-start battery technology development. The contract includes a 50 percent cost-share by Saft.

The 30-month contract will focus on the development and delivery of lithium-ion 12-volt modules for vehicle stop-start battery applications consistent with USABC goals based on Saft’s advanced lithium-ion battery technologies along with battery management electronics.

The new Saft contract follows research previously conducted with USABC for 12-volt stop-start battery technology development and an earlier contract to develop lithium-ion battery systems for hybrid electric vehicle applications.

"Advancing the technology of vehicle batteries is not only important strategically for Saft, but for the energy security of the United States," said Thomas Alcide, President of Saft America. "The commitment by the Department of Energy to support state-of the art energy storage technologies will help reduce the nation’s emissions and the dependence on imported fuel."

USABC is a subsidiary of the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR). Enabled by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. DOE, USABC’s mission is to develop electrochemical energy storage technologies that support commercialization of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and fuel cell vehicles. In support of its mission, USABC has developed mid- and long-term goals to guide its projects and measure its progress.

The U.S. DOE's overarching mission is to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States. DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office works with industry, academia and national laboratories to develop advanced transportation technologies that reduce the nation's use of imported oil and increase its energy security. Electrochemical energy storage has been identified as a critical enabling technology for advanced, fuel-efficient, light and heavy-duty vehicles.


About Saft

Saft (Euronext: Saft) is a world leading designer and manufacturer of advanced technology batteries for industry. The Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of nickel batteries and primary lithium batteries for the industrial infrastructure and processes, transportation, civil and military electronics’ markets. Saft world leader in space and defense batteries with its Li-ion technologies which are also deployed in the energy storage, transportation and telecommunication network markets. More than 4,000 employees in 18 countries, 14 manufacturing sites and an extensive sales network all contribute to accelerating the Group’s growth for the future.

Saft batteries. Designed for industry.

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Doe Run Trains Next Generation of Mine Professionals

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, August 24, 2015


Interns Develop Skills in Environmental, Geological and Engineering Roles

ST. LOUIS (August 18, 2015) – The global demand for lead is expected to increase by 3 to 3.5 percent annually between 2015 and 2025, and Missouri will need new workers to support this growing industry. As part of its effort to train future generations of mine professionals, The Doe Run Company (Doe Run) provides students with professional work experience through its summer internship program.

“Our internship program helps students as they develop their skills and prepare for their careers,” said Lisa Henn, senior talent management analyst at Doe Run. “While interning at Doe Run, students and recent graduates work on projects that are related to their majors and areas of interest, giving them hands-on experience in the field.”

This summer, Doe Run welcomed the following individuals to its 2015 internship program:

-Muhammad Usman Khan, from Lahore, Pakistan, is a third-year doctoral candidate in the mining engineering program at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T). Khan spent the summer at Doe Run’s Fletcher Mine, where he analyzed various methods and technologies for recording underground air emissions, providing insights into how best to capture data and respond to changing conditions.

-Peter DeVries, from Chanhassen, Minnesota, returned to Doe Run for a second internship. He joined the company’s Exploration and Development department to conduct work related to his master’s thesis, as well as to analyze geological deposits and provide insights into which sites could be successfully mined. DeVries is currently completing a master’s degree in mineral exploration at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

-Taylor Fels, a native to Rolla, Missouri, assisted the Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) team by improving stormwater systems at Doe Run’s #29 Mine and working alongside Doe Run remediation crews to channel water from a nearby stream away from a sinkhole. Fels is a senior at Missouri S&T, pursuing his bachelor’s degree in geological engineering. This was his third summer as a Doe Run intern.

-Austin Neaville, from Cary, North Carolina, supported the EHS team with risk management planning related to chemical storage to help Doe Run continue to operate safely. Neaville is a sophomore studying environmental geology at the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill.

-Kyle Dale Rousan, a St. Louis native and recent graduate of Missouri S&T, assisted the Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division (SEMO) as a mining engineering intern, analyzing the productivity of two different drill types and the different underground environments in which they are most effective. This was Rousan’s second year interning with Doe Run.

“I used to visit my grandpa, Harold Ray, when he worked as a metallurgist at Doe Run, and his excitement about the field encouraged me to pursue a degree in mine engineering,” said Rousan. “Interning at Doe Run has reinforced my career decision. The passion and camaraderie of the men and women working underground is unlike anything I have seen in my previous positions, and I am proud to have the opportunity to carry on my grandpa’s legacy.”

“Our internship program is part of Doe Run’s efforts to provide job training opportunities in Missouri,” said Mark Coomes, vice president – human resources and community relations at Doe Run. “We offer guidance, development opportunities and pertinent, practical experience to our interns. In turn, we have an opportunity to gain perspective from bright young minds poised to enter the mining industry.”

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration estimates the mining industry will need 78,000 new workers by 2019 to replace retiring workers and support industry growth. In Missouri alone, mining operations indirectly support more than 33,380 jobs in a highly skilled, high-paying profession, according to the National Mining Association’s 2014 study.

About The Doe Run Company
Based in St. Louis, 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, Mo. 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 and

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Announcing Global Sales Team Member

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Wednesday, August 19, 2015






Bitrode Expands International Global Sales Team




St. Louis, MO. USA -Juan Carlos (JC) Carvallo recently joined Bitrode's Global Sales & Marketing Team in St. Louis to support regional sales throughout the western United States as well as Central and South America. A native of Venezuela, JC is fluent in English and Spanish and has a working knowledge of Portuguese, French, and Italian. He also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tulsa and is pursuing his MBA at Webster University in St. Louis.


Previous to Bitrode, JC served as a Sales Engineer and Regional Sales Manager for Weir Minerals-Lewis Pumps, where he was instrumental in managing all aspects of the sales process. Other recent experiences include system integration work on large industrial projects, business development activities for a power transformer and switchgear provider, and sales, marketing and product management support at a local electronics manufacturer.


"JC's multilingual abilities and technical background make him a perfect fit for our team," said John Grimm, Director of Sales and Marketing for Bitrode. "We recognize the impact of the rapidly expanding energy storage market around the world, and we are committed to providing the best sales and support in the industry."



About Bitrode


Bitrode Corporation, a member of the Sovema family of companies, is a global supplier of battery production charging and test systems and laboratory testing systems for power storage applications including: hybrid and electric vehicle, automotive, industrial and consumer batteries. Bitrode manufactures in the USA, with sales and service locations worldwide. Sovema Power Electronics, comprised of Bitrode, Sovel and Solith, is a leading provider of turnkey solutions for the global battery industry not only in lead acid, but lithium and all other advanced chemistry formation and testing applications. Visit www.bitrode.comfor more information.





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Pb-A Battery Tops Recycling Lists

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It will come as no surprise to the industry that lead-acid has topped the most recycled list again in 2013, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest report.

It topped the chart once again as the weight of lead being recovered stayed constant the percentage of the amount being recycled rose my 3%.

The EPA stated that the rate of lead-acid battery recovery was about 99% (2.85 million tons) in its June 2015 report.  

In 2012 the recycling rate of lead-acid batteries was almost 96%, amounting to around 2.8 million tons.

However, as the recycling rates increase the dangers have also increased. Earlier this year BCI called for more stringent measures for identifying lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries to prevent cross contamination, which has led to explosions in recycling plants.

Read more. 

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Black Diamond Structures board directors, Kurt Swogger, P.E. and Dr. Clive Bosnyak, receive prestigious “Inventor of the Year” award from Houston Intellectual Property Law Association

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Press Release

Austin, Texas
 June 24, 2015



Black Diamond Structures board directors, Kurt Swogger, P.E. and Dr. Clive Bosnyak, receive prestigious “Inventor of the Year” award from Houston Intellectual Property Law Association


Black Diamond Structures, a developer and manufacturer of innovative nanomaterial products and solutions, announced today that two members of their board of directors, Kurt Swogger and Dr. Clive Bosnyak, are recipients of the prestigious “Inventor of the Year” award given by the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association for the development of their proprietary technology, MOLECULAR REBAR®.  Swogger and Bosnyak are co-founders of Molecular Rebar Design, LLC, a leading nanomaterial innovator, and hold five key patents for MOLECULAR REBAR®.

Black Diamond Structures is a joint venture between Molecular Rebar Design and SABIC, the world’s second largest diversified chemical company.   It develops, manufactures and commercializes products based on the MOLECULAR REBAR®  technology.

MOLECULAR REBAR® are discrete, open ended, and highly functionalized multi-wall carbon nanotubes (CNTs) that are free from catalysts and waste matter.  The technology is a scientific breakthrough providing opportunities for development and commercialization of innovative new materials for a wide variety of products and market segments.  The addition of MOLECULAR REBAR® to materials significantly enhances mechanical, physical, transport and electromagnetic properties.

Black Diamond Structures is currently working with manufacturers of lead acid batteries across the globe to enhance performance utilizing this technology.

MOLECULAR REBAR® can be implemented into existing battery processes efficiently and provide substantial benefits in most applications:

·         Increasing charge acceptance by >25%

·         Increasing cycle life by >50%

·         Improved formation efficiency.


Commenting on the award, Swogger stated, “Clive and I are very pleased and honored that the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association has recognized our work related to creating more value for carbon nanotubes. MOLECULAR REBAR® has some remarkable properties and the prediction for use in nanomaterials is very gratifying.  We are very fortunate and delighted to be working with this technology in so many markets and applications where we can make such a difference to so many customers and products.”

Bosnyak further remarked, “In addition to the innovative breakthroughs made on the science and to meet rapidly growing global customer demands there has also been remarkable progress on the ability to scale up and manufacture MOLECULAR REBAR® here in Texas. This has created valuable employment and growth opportunities that further strengthens the position of Texas as a leader of nanomaterials technology.”

Swogger and Bosnyak, both formerly with The Dow Chemical Company, have extensive experience in developing and commercializing breakthrough products. Swogger, as Vice-President of Dow’s R&D, is well known for his work in Polyolefins and INSITE Technology™.  Bosnyak, as Senior Scientist at Dow, has been the recipient of a number of awards and international recognition for his work, including the R&D 100 Award.

Andrew Kodis, CEO of Black Diamond Structures, lauded the two innovators saying, “I am truly honored to be associated with the scientific advancements achieved by Kurt, Clive and their team. Since 1983, HIPLA has honored inventors and their discoveries from every industry and profession – it is a remarkable list of scientific effort and creativity.  To be included among those previously honored is a remarkable achievement.”

For further information

Dru Kefalos, Chief Marketing Officer

Black Diamond Structures


Notes to Editors


Black Diamond Structures, LLC is a developer and manufacturer of innovative nanomaterial products and solutions.  Created in 2015 as joint venture between Molecular Rebar Design, a leading nanomaterial innovator, and SABIC, the world’s second largest diversified chemical company, Black Diamond Structures is taking nanomaterial technology to a new level. 

Our products are based on Molecular Rebar Design’s revolutionary carbon nanotube (CNT) technology, MOLECULAR REBAR®.   MOLECULAR REBAR® are discrete, open ended, and highly functionalized CNTs that are free from catalysts and waste matter.  The technology significantly advances the science for nanomaterials and provides opportunities for development and commercialization of innovative new materials to be used in a wide variety of products and market segments.

Together, with SABIC’s commercial and manufacturing capabilities and Molecular Rebar Design’s advanced nanotechnology, Black Diamond Structures, LLC is unleashing the power of nanomaterials to improve the world we live in.

About our Partners:

Molecular Rebar Design, LLC (MRD)

Molecular Rebar Design, LLC, based in Austin, Texas, was established to develop and commercialize a breakthrough form of modified carbon nanotubes (CNT’s), called MOLECULAR REBAR®. These are the world’s first CNT’s that are disentangled from the usual clumping and individualized through a patent-protected process which enables significantly enhanced performance for a myriad of high-value materials.


SABIC ranks as the world’s second largest diversified chemical company. The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.


SABIC’s businesses are grouped into Chemicals, Polymers, Performance Chemicals, Fertilizers, Metals and Innovative Plastics. SABIC has significant research resources with 19 dedicated Technology & Innovation facilities in Saudi Arabia, the USA, the Netherlands, Spain, Japan, India, China and South Korea. The company operates in more than 45 countries across the world with around 40,000 employees worldwide.


SABIC manufactures on a global scale in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.


MOLECULAR REBAR® is a registered trademark of Molecular Rebar Design, LLC

INSITE Technology is a registered trademark of The Dow Chemical Company

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Latest government statistics confirm that lead batteries are the most recycled product in USA

Posted By Administration, Monday, July 6, 2015

Latest government statistics confirm that lead batteries are the most recycled product in USA

Lead batteries, used in vehicles and as energy storage for emergency power and renewable energy, have been confirmed as the most recycled product in the U.S., according to figures produced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In the latest EPA report entitled Advancing Sustainable materials Management: 2013 Fact Sheet assessing U.S. trends in recycling and disposal, the US federal government health and environment regulator compared recycling rates for a range of products and materials. It found that the 99% recycle rate of lead batteries is the highest recycling rate of all consumer products.  

Among the recycling rates listed were:

  • Lead batteries (99%)
  • Corrugated boxes (88.5%)
  • Steel cans (71%)
  • Newspapers/mechanical, papers (67%)
  • Aluminium cans (55%)
  • Tyres (40.5%)
  • Glass containers (34%).

International Lead Association Managing Director, Dr Andy Bush, said: “Lead batteries offer a truly sustainable energy storage solution and recycling is the driver for this. Many people will be surprised to see that lead batteries are leading the way in consumer product recycling with much higher recycling rates than materials such as newspapers, cans and glass.” 

The lead battery is an excellent example of a recyclable product.  As well as recovering and reusing lead and all other metals, in the recycling process, the polypropylene plastic battery casing is also reprocessed and re-used for batteries or for other products in the automobile industry, for example in bumpers and wheel arches. The sulphuric acid in lead batteries is separated and can be reused or converted to calcium sulphate (gypsum) or sodium sulphate (soda) for a variety of applications.

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ISO Certifications Support Doe Run's Commitment to Sustainable Operations

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 8, 2015

Second Doe Run Mine and Mill Achieves Internationally Recognized Standard

ST. LOUIS (June 7, 2015) – Fletcher Mine and Mill has become the second mine and mill operation of The Doe Run Company (Doe Run) to earn certification for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 Environmental Management Systems standard. The certification recognizes Fletcher Mine and Mill for implementing an environmental management system that meets ISO 14001 requirements, including demonstrating continual improvement in managing its environmental programs.


Sweetwater was the first mine and mill to achieve ISO 14001 certification in 2014, and Doe Run’s Resource Recycling facility in Boss, Missouri, also holds the certification.


Click here to read more about this achievement. 

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Congratulations to Crown Battery!

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 1, 2015

Congratulations to Crown Battery for receiving the AEP Ohio Sustained Excellence Award on April 28, 2015. 

Crown Battery Manufacturing Company in Freemont, Ohio, has been an active participant in many of the AEP Ohio energy efficiency programs since 2011. By setting the bar high for sustained excellence, the company has implemented a strong corporate culture of energy management and has built a strong partnership with AEP Ohio. 

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