Lithium Demand Set to Grow as Electric Vehicles Market Continues to Expand
FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary
NEW YORK, May 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
According to data provided by Market Research Engine, the global Lithium-ion Battery Market is expected to exceed more than US$ 77 billion by 2024 and will grow at a CAGR of more than 11%. Lithium-ion batteries are part of the rechargeable battery group. The report indicates that the batteries provide excessive storage capacity, better efficiency and long lifecycle than other batteries. The demand for those batteries is growing thanks to the wide array of applications in which they can be used, which include potable electronics, and recently electric vehicles (EVs). MGX Minerals Inc. (OTC: MGXMF), Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY), Nemaska Lithium Inc. (OTC: NMKEF), Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE: LAC)
Producers of processed lithium, which is used for batteries used in EVs, are changing business strategies to prepare for the higher demand expected from the adoption of EVs. According to Reuters, Tom Schneberger, global business director at U.S.-listed FMC Lithium, explained: "We've established the timeline for our own expansion based on the commitments our customers are making with us… Our first priority will be to provide the adequate supply of the high quality products upon which (our strategic customers) rely."
MGX Minerals Inc. (OTC: MGXMF) also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the Ticker (CSE: XMG). Just earlier today the company announced breaking news that it, "is pleased to report that its 100% wholly-owned subsidiary ZincNyx Energy Solutions, Inc. ("ZincNyx") has quadrupled the capacity of its fuel cell modules (stacks)."
System Architecture - The ZincNyx zinc-air flow battery is comprised of three main modules - a regenerator module that uses electricity to charge particles of zinc, a fuel tank where the zinc particles are stored until needed, and a fuel cell module that uses zinc particles to generate electricity.
Fuel Cell Module - The fuel cell module is comprised of a stack of identical cells. In the original implementation of the stack, each cell was capable of generating 100 Amps at approximately 1 Volt. A stack of 12 cells connected in series was thus able to generate 100 Amps at 12 volts, or approximately 1.25 kW.
The latest development of this technology doubles the area of each cell and enables up to 24 cells to be connected in series, thereby quadrupling the output capacity of a stack to 5 kW (200 Amps at 24 Volts nominal). An additional improvement incorporated in this iteration of the design is a streamlined electrolyte path that reduces load on the fuel pump. The new stack is designed for injection molding and die-casting from the outset, thereby reducing the cost to manufacture the unit.
"This development is a further illustration of the flexibility of the ZincNyx system," said ZincNyx President and CEO Suresh Singh. "Advances can be made to each component of the system without requiring simultaneous changes to the other components. In this case, the power generation capacity is increased without requiring simultaneous changes to the power regeneration capacity or the energy storage capacity."
Background - ZincNyx has developed a patented regenerative zinc-air flow battery that efficiently stores energy in the form of zinc particles and contains none of the traditional high cost battery commodities such as lithium, vanadium, or cobalt. The technology allows for low-cost mass storage of energy and can be deployed into a wide range of applications.
Unlike conventional batteries, which have a fixed energy/power ratio, ZincNyx's technology uses a fuel tank system that offers flexible energy/power ratios and scalability. The storage capacity is directly tied to the size of the fuel tank and the quantity of recharged zinc fuel, making scalability a major advantage of the flow battery system. In addition, a further major advantage of the zinc-air flow battery is the ability to charge and discharge simultaneously and at different maximum charge or discharge rates since each of the charge and discharge circuits is separate and independent. Other types of standard and flow batteries are limited to a maximum charge and discharge by the total number of cells as there is no separation of the charge, discharge and storage components. To watch a short video outlining this operation, please visit: http://www.zincnyx.com/technology/
About ZincNyx Energy Solutions - ZincNyx Energy Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of MGX, has assembled an experienced team to execute the development and commercialization of a dependable renewable energy source. With both environmental and efficiency factors in mind, ZincNyx's mission is to provide the lowest cost, longest duration and most reliable energy storage system for markets involving renewables firming, peak shaving, diesel generator replacement, telecom facility back-up, electrification of ferries and tug boats, and electric vehicle charging support. MGX intends to publicly list ZincNyx and pay a partial share dividend to MGX shareholders of record (see press release dated April 3, 2018).
Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Panasonic Corporation signed an agreement that lays out their cooperation on the construction of a large-scale battery manufacturing plant in the United States, known as the Gigafactory. According to the agreement, Tesla will prepare, provide and manage the land, buildings and utilities. Panasonic will manufacture and supply cylindrical lithium-ion cells and invest in the associated equipment, machinery, and other manufacturing tools based on their mutual approval. A network of supplier partners is planned to produce the required precursor materials. Tesla will take the cells and other components to assemble battery modules and packs. According to a blog in 2017, Tesla and Panasonic begin mass production of lithium-ion battery cells, which will be used in Tesla's energy storage products and Model 3.
Panasonic Corporation (OTC: PCRFY) is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. On May 13, 2018, the company has begun mass production of prismatic-type automotive lithium-ion batteries at its factory in Dalian, China, and held a ceremony to mark the first shipment. The market for eco-conscious vehicles, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles, is growing every year thanks to the increase in environmental awareness in recent years. To respond to the market demand, Panasonic has been gearing up to start production at this factory, which is its first production site for prismatic-type automotive lithium-ion batteries in China. Amidst expectations of expanding demand for automotive lithium-ion batteries, Panasonic manufactures the high-capacity and high-safety prismatic-type batteries at this factory and ships them to the North American and Chinese markets. Shipments will be expanded in the future to reach more destinations, helping to drive the spread of eco-conscious vehicles.
Nemaska Lithium Inc. (OTC: NMKEF) is a developing chemical company whose activities will be vertically integrated, from spodumene mining to the commercialization of high-purity lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate. These lithium salts are mainly destined for the fast-growing lithium-ion battery market, which is driven by the increasing demand for electric vehicles and energy storage worldwide. On April 27, 2018, the company announced the signature of an agreement in principle providing for the supply by the Corporation to Northvolt of battery grade lithium hydroxide. Under this agreement in principle, Nemaska Lithium agreed to supply, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Nemaska Lithium Shawinigan Transformation Inc., and Northvolt agreed to purchase, on a take-or-pay basis, up to 5,000 but not less than 3,500 metric tonnes per year of lithium hydroxide produced at the Corporation's commercial plant in Shawinigan, for a 5-year supply period commencing upon the start of commercial production at both the Shawinigan Plant and Northvolt's projected Skellefteå factory in Sweden.
Lithium Americas Corp. (NYSE: LAC), together with SQM, is developing the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium project, located in Jujuy, Argentina, through its 50% interest in Minera Exar. In addition, Lithium Americas owns 100% of the Lithium Nevada project, and RheoMinerals Inc., a supplier of rheology modifiers for oil-based drilling fluids, coatings, and specialty chemicals. On April 5, 2018, the company provided an updated mineral resource estimate on the Thacker Pass deposit of the Lithium Nevada Project located in the McDermitt Caldera, Nevada, USA. The Resource Estimate was prepared pursuant to National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. At a cut-off of 2,000 parts per million lithium ("ppm Li"), the updated Resource Estimate consists of a Measured and Indicated Resource of 385 million tonnes grading 2,917 ppm Li for 6.0 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent ("LCE") and an Inferred Resource of 147 million tonnes grading 2,932 ppm Li for 2.3 million tonnes of LCE.
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