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Worldwide decarbonization goals and the global aim for a sustainable future have prompted exponential growth in the Electric Vehicle (EV) sector in the last few years. This, in turn, has caused an increase in demand for lithium-ion batteries. Lithium, which is needed to produce virtually all batteries currently used in EVs, has also experienced an increase in demand. As the industry scales, P&ID is taking the lead to enhance knowledge of this industry and tackle lithium and EV battery problem solving.

The lithium market is both complex and very young with many different process areas. We need to consider lithium production as well as production of battery powder materials. Plus, sustainability efforts demand attention to battery production scrap recycling and proper handling of End-of-Life (EOL) batteries.

Over the past several years, I have listened to my chemical, engineering, and technology clients and the marketplace about lithium, EV batteries and sustainability & recycling. We’re seeing everyone from startups to Fortune 500 companies bringing their expertise to the market. With my expertise and commitment to process filtration, drying and recycling, I can discover hidden needs and evolve solutions through innovation with the clients and marketplace. This drives me, literally and figuratively, to expand my focus into this new and exciting area.

We plan to play a role in the coordinated effort to ensure a domestic supply of lithium batteries and accelerate the development of a robust and secure “lithium-battery manufacturing value chain,” which as the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries (FCAB) puts it, can help “create equitable clean-energy manufacturing jobs” and “mitigate climate change impacts.”

Embracing Lithium and EV Batteries evolution

To capture the full process engineering spectrum, there is a new section on the P&ID website focused on Lithium & Battery Materials. We cover all aspects of (B) Brine, (P) Battery Powder Materials and (R) Recycling and Separation/Refining. Each BPR section reviews the challenges and explains the P&ID approach to problem solving in the sector.

Further, Chemical Processing has provided me with a column and the opportunity to regularly author a web-exclusive column called “Barry on Batteries.” I plan for each column to focus on a different segment of the lithium industry. The discussion will explore current processes, technologies used, challenges, and possible solutions.

Finally, I am speaking at the International Battery Seminar & Exhibition, March 20-23, 2023, in Orlando, Florida. My session will cover process solid-liquid separation and process drying for the lithium, battery powders, and recycling/refining. You can get a sense of the presentation here.

P&ID leadership and innovation will continue in 2023 and beyond with other exciting news, ideas, and projects. So, think out-of-the-box and contact me if I can help with your individual objectives and unique challenges.