Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability
We bring enthusiasm and passion to our work every day because we live by these four beliefs:
Firstly, the belief that our vanadium flow batteries are the ideal solution for the electrification of off-grid communities or with unreliable grid supply, particularly in developing countries. Our batteries not only enhance living standards but will also reduce the global digital divide, thus opening all new opportunities delivered via the Internet.
Secondly, our vanadium flow batteries considerably reduce CO² emissions over commercially available lithium-ion battery technologies, as determined independently by a State testing organization.
Thirdly, our batteries that are recyclable, close to 100%. This is a crucial factor when scrutinizing any storage technology. Recyclability becomes of dramatic importance in locations with limited access to recycling facilities, such as developing countries where batteries are often improperly disposed of. Electrification should not come at the expense of the environment.
Finally, our batteries use vanadium, a commonly available metal with simple, environmentally friendly extraction methods. Furthermore, our reusable electrolyte means that there is no need to mine fresh vanadium to replace a spent battery. Our batteries do not employ cobalt or other metals often associated to the exploitation of child labor in Africa.
REDUCED CO2 EMMISSIONS
The StorEn battery underwent an independent validation by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute in Rochester. The validation was co-financed by The Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) and the New York State Center for Advanced Technology (CAT).
The testing found that our vanadium flow batteries have the potential to spare over 50% CO² emissions over the warranty period compared to commercially available lithium-ion batteries.
StorEn’s batteries are a sustainable choice, granting close to 100% recyclability and reduced GHGs emissions.
Vanadium flow batteries are the recyclable alternative to lithium batteries!
StorEn vanadium flow batteries have a Reliability Index close to 100%. In fact they are made of recyclable materials such as plastic and stainless steel, with a recyclability close to 100%.
Disassembling for processing is very easy with the majority of parts requiring just primary mechanical reprocessing. Only the Printed Circuit Board of the Battery Management System requires a specialist process similar to the one used for electronic waste such as computers’ motherboards.
The vanadium electrolyte can be used in a new battery, thus replacing an old battery does not require a new electrolyte. Alternatively, 100% of the vanadium contained in the electrolyte can be extracted and used for alternative applications as a steel hardening additive.
Whereas lithium batteries contain a blend of several metals such as lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt and others. The separation process to make lithium and the other metals reusable is time-consuming, complex and expensive. This translates in a low recycling rate of lithium-ion batteries, below 5%, with only a little share of recycled materials fed back into battery production.
The availability of recycling infrastructure is also a limitation. In Australia, for example, only 2 to 3% of lithium-ion batteries are collected and then sent offshore for recycling.
Vanadium Flow Batteries are the Sustainable Choice!
Vanadium flow batteries contain no toxic metals such as lithium, cobalt, lead, cadmium, zinc and nickel. The electrolyte is water-based, thus non-flammable and non-explosive, allowing for indoor installation of the batteries.
The option to reuse the old electrolyte, or the extraction of 100% of its vanadium for alternative use, supports a sustainable use of resources and has no repetitive impact on primary mining.
In alternative to mining, vanadium, up to 25%, is a melting residue in the production of iron. Hence vanadium can be produced without additional depletion of natural resources and burden on the ecosystem.
Thanks to its long duration of 25 year or 15,000 cycles with a 100% charge guarantee, one StorEn vanadium flow battery avoids the disposal, processing or landfill of up to eight lead-acid batteries or four lithium ion batteries.
The difficulties and high costs associated with lithium battery recycling often turns reprocessing into an enviable option. As a result, the metals necessary for the production of lithium batteries have to come in a great proportion from primary mining, further depleting natural reserves. The manufacturing of lithium batteries is also expected to grow massively due to the growing popularity of mobile devices and the foreseeable demand from the automotive industry to satisfy the growing demand for electric vehicles. So is their cost!
Lithium batteries that are not recycled (about 95% presently) are landfilled and represent an environmental hazard due to possible toxic metal leakage. These batteries have “the highest (compared to other battery technologies) potential for environmental impact” as concluded in 2013 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s report “Design for the Environment”.
Lithium-ion batteries are classified as Class 9 miscellaneous hazardous materials under United States regulations (40 CFR 173.21©), higher than lead–acid batteries that are Class 8.
Finally, the extraction of lithium and cobalt involves massive ecological and humanitarian repercussions in developing countries, such as the use of child labor.