IOC plans to set up aluminium-air batteries
IOC, the State-run fossil fuel giant Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (Indian Oil) acquired a stake in Phinergy, an Israel based startup which develops ultra-lightweight metal-air batteries for electric vehicles. It is in talks with few governments to set up an aluminium-air batteries factory. The factory is likely to be set up in Chennai and the investment details are still being worked out.
R Sravan S Rao, executive director & state head, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh said that “We are looking to set up a factory in India to manufacture aluminium-air batteries for electric vehicles and stationary applications and facilitate the development of eco-system for aluminium-air technology-based batteries. Since aluminium is naturally available in India and its extraction and recycling technologies are also very well established, this technology may be a suitable alternative for the present lithium-based batteries.”
The location of the factory is yet to be decided but the sources in the known said that it can be located in Chennai.
The Indian oil is also setting up a plant in Panipat district of Haryana for 100 KLPD (kilolitres per day) lignocellulosic 2G ethanol using the indigenous technology patented by the Indian Oil’s & R&D centre. This project costs Rs 766 crore which will promote the use of environment-friendly fuel. The company is also producing the 3G ethanol by converting the hydrogen off-gas produced at its refineries to ethanol, by gas fermentation technology.
Recently the IOC, announced that it has begun the field trials with a couple of leading Indian original equipment manufacturers (OEM)s to test the technology’s performance in Indian conditions.
The company said that if the trials turn successful, it may also venture into battery production in the country. When compared with the lithium-ion batteries, metal-air batteries provides more range up to 600 km for electric vehicles.
If we compare the other batteries, especially the lithium-ion batteries which are in the full demand in the market metal-air batteries such as aluminium air are cheaper due to the cathode source is abundant and the anode can be made using a low-cost metal such as Al, Zn and Fe.
Hopefully, IOC will set up the metal-air batteries soon, once it establishes the factory and the batteries start commercialising the EV industry will develop in no time.
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