The winners of the 2021 edition of the i-Nov competition have been announced. Under the theme "Circular Economy", it is with great pride that BE ENERGY has been honoured. This award reflects BE ENERGY's commitment to local resilience and environmentally friendly solutions ; it will also allow the French company to develop its Régen'Pulse project, an innovative regeneration process adapted to NiMH and Li-ion batteries.
For nearly 20 years, BE ENERGY has demonstrated world-renowned expertise in the field of lead/acid and nickel-cadmium battery regeneration. BE ENERGY's solutions actively contribute to extending the life of batteries to reduce their environmental impact, while allowing users to benefit from substantial financial savings.
The regeneration of lead-acid batteries allows a massive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to the purchase of a new battery, the regeneration of a lead acid battery generates 50 times less CO2 emissions.
Battery regeneration is also a vector of local resilience, as it promotes the creation of new jobs.
BE ENERGY has been awarded a prize by ADEME under the "Circular Economy" theme, through the "Régen'Pulse" project, which aims to develop a regeneration process adapted to NiMH and Li-ion batteries. These batteries are used in particular in hybrid and electric vehicles.
BE ENERGY's "Regen'Pulse" project is innovative in many respects, particularly with regard to the use and end-of-life of NiMH and Li-ion batteries:
- Some of the materials used in these batteries - in particular lithium and cobalt - are considered critical by the European Commission1
- The recycling of NiMH and Li-ion batteries is less advanced than the recycling of lead-acid batteries
- The fuel consumption of a hybrid vehicle with an aging battery is considerable, thus reducing the interest of hybridization
The regeneration process of NiMH and Li-ion batteries presents a strong potential as well as an adapted answer to the above mentioned problems. BE ENERGY's project allows to increase the territorial resilience towards the import of these batteries, with the creation of a circular economy around the regeneration of batteries. The environmental impact is considerable, as the regeneration of these batteries also increases their lifespan.
The objectives of the Régen'Pulse project are:
- The development of a so-called "intelligent" diagnostic tool for the regeneration of NiMH batteries at the end of their life. At the center of this tool, an algorithm for collecting and analyzing data, as well as a regenerator based on the use of electrical impulses adapted to this type of battery. A pilot device (TRL8) will restore about 90% of the battery's initial capacity.
- The implementation of a process of regeneration by electric pulse at cell level and an associated diagnostic tool for Li-ion batteries. This process will require the securing of the regeneration environment in order to reduce any form of risk.
To carry out its project, BE ENERGY will rely on leading-edge subcontractors, including CEA-Liten, whose expertise in battery technology is well established, and the CNRS.
Winner of the i-Nov 2021 competition in the "Circular Economy" category, BE ENERGY can now co-finance its research and development project on the regeneration of NiMH and Li-ion batteries with:
- A strong driver of territorial resilience
- Important environmental and societal impacts (creation of a circular economy around battery regeneration)
- The creation of new jobs
- Reduction of hazardous waste
- Reduction of CO2 linked to the manufacturing of new batteries
1 European Commission, Study on the EU's list of Critical Raw Materials - Final Report (2020)