The State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is developing batteries using the indigenous metals to prevent the dependence on lithium imports once electric vehicles and renewable energy. The metal air batteries will produce the energy by oxidizing metals such as iron, zinc and aluminium said the IOC chairman Sanjiv Singh.
Batteries development using indigenous metals by IOC
These batteries cant be recharged but its plates can be replaced by the motorists to power it up instantly and there is no need to find the charging stations much convenient for the users he said. He also says that the customer is not concerned how we make petrol if he can buy it wherever he wants.
It is similar to it, if a motorist goes to the station and replaces the metal plates, he will not bother it as the process takes just 3 minutes just like fueling a conventional vehicle.
These batteries have much advantages than a lithium ion battery, for example if a lithium-ion battery can run up to 300 km, these can run up to 500 km said Singh.
However the cost depend on the scale of operation. This technology doesn’t require of charging infrastructure but the entire business model requires the support refurbishment infrastructure. The metal oxide can be reduced to a metal again which includes the recycling process.
“Rest of the battery including the air cathodes remain intact and there is no need to change them for at least eight years and after that the air cathode can be completed recycled,” said SSV Ramakumar, director-R&D at IOC.
The Central Pollution Control Board, in a compliance report in 2016, acknowledged that India’s Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules 2001, under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, do not cover recycling of Li-ion batteries.
But for metal batteries production and recycling can be localized and the import costs are settled and is environment friendly too. “If we are looking at future EVs on a countrywide scale, the biggest thing is dependence on import of raw material. So from oil import, we shift to lithium import dependence,” said Singh.
According to the US Geological survey
According to the US Geological survey, Argentina, Australia, China and Chile together accounts for 99% of lithium reserves in the world. These countries together produces 81,200 metric tonnes of lithium which is 95% of the world’s production.
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