library books
Photo by Patrik Göthe on Unsplash

As I think back on 2023, two words come to mind: Communication and Education. This year, P&ID  helped clients in Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, and The Netherlands as well as in the U.S. Applications included food spices, chemicals, specialty chemicals, energy and lithium, and battery and plastics recycling. I also consulted for equipment technology suppliers on market strategies, technology innovations, and other special projects as a Fractional Chief Marketing Office (CMO).

One important skill surfaced as I worked across markets and among all the different cultures, languages, and ideas—communication. Effective communication takes time. We must all share in the effort to listen, formulate our questions and answers, and communicate on technical and commercial subjects. Many times, what we want to communicate is education. We must meet the challenge of taking our internal ideas and educating the market via articles, white papers, seminars, blog posts, videos, etc. Meeting this challenge was a key success for P&ID in 2023. We helped many clients communicate with and educate their target audiences.

The value of varied perspectives

Over three insightful days this month in San Diego, California, I also joined in Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC) discussion of technical challenges and presented on installations of Lithium-Ion Battery (LIBs) Recycling Plants operating at 50 kg/hour to 4 m-tons/hour. I communicated my vision for this market’s future during the panel discussion. LIBs recycling is a complex process with crushing and shredding, black mass drying, electrolyte recovery with gas treatment and finally classification and sorting. Each step must be integrated upstream and downstream to minimize environmental impacts while maximizing safety, recovery, and efficiency.

Conferences like this one, and the NATTBatt workshop earlier this year, provide a valuable opportunity to communicate with experts along the entire battery value chain. While North America is establishing its market, the reality is that our battery ecosystem is not on a level playing field with Europe and Asia. The industry must educate itself to successfully scale up to meet the ambitious electrification targets and increase the supply of critical materials to meet market demands.

Looking ahead to 2024

Still, I am always aware that education isn’t all external. Continuously learning will support P&ID’s plans to add value and make a difference for clients in 2024. Expect me to share insights into battery cell manufacturing , graphite recovery, infrared drying and quality control, and testing on my site and in my Chemical Processing column, Barry on Batteries.

In 2023, I was proud to play a key role in reimagining what’s possible in the process and battery industries by bringing new ideas to clients. As we move into 2024, I remain committed to driving innovation, improving processes, and helping you navigate the complexities of your manufacturing landscape. I look forward to working with you to make 2024 another year of progress.