The recycling of used lead–acid batteries is turning the corner to a greener, cleaner and more sustainable process. With the advent of new electrolysis-based processes coming from the USA and still under development within the EU, a new recycling era dawns. There is indeed the need for improvements in quality of secondary lead and for continued advancement in lead–acid battery technology to meet the ever-increasing demand for advanced electrochemical storage capacity. Aurelius has taken up a process that was originally pioneered by Dr Vasant Kumar et al. at Cambridge University. Industrialisation and commercialisation of the process is currently nine months into its development and, despite many hurdles, a full-scale production capacity plant is expected to be operating by Q1 2018. Key advantages of the recycling process have been previously disseminated at the ABC and other conferences. Aurelius in conjunction with Dr Kumar and his team have found ways to fine-tune the manufacture and quality of different grades of nanostructured lead oxide that is free from impurities and exhibits enhanced electrochemical performance, namely, up to 30% energy density gains on lead oxide made from even the purest of lead metal. The commercial viability of such greener and cleaner processes also faces challenges when compared to incumbent pyrometallurgical processes that, over years, have been well rehearsed, improved, and made very cost-efficient. Consequently, the presentation will show how Aurelius has endeavoured to ensure that its process is not only environmentally clean, but is also cheaper than processes presently employed in the market and yields a superior product for the manufacture of lead–acid batteries.
Athan is passionate about science and technology that adds value to society and the environment. He is a PhD graduate in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge, and he also holds a First Class BSc in Chemistry and MPhil in Analytical Chemistry.
Following his PhD, Dr Fox worked as a trainee patent attorney, a Laboratory Manager at Cambridge University, and a Technology Transfer Associate at Cambridge Enterprise. He joined Aurelius as Technology Director in February 2016. His experience includes organic and analytical chemistry, drafting and prosecuting patent applications, managing intellectual property and technology transfer.
Head of Materials Science
Dr Kumar is a Reader at the University and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, a Board member of “Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy” in IOM3, and is Editor-in-Chief of “Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy” for the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining. He is a founder and Director of a number of University spin outs and winner of a number of prestigious awards for sustainable innovation. Dr. Kumar has over 20 years of research experience in electrochemistry, energy devices, materials chemistry synthesis and sensors. He has published over 200 papers, 9 patents, 4 Chapters in Handbooks and 1 edited book (High energy density Li batteries, Wiley-VCH 2010). He has supervised over 30 PhD students, 20 post-doctoral researchers, over 15 visiting students and hosted 8 visiting professors. Currently, Dr Kumar’s current research group consists of 12 PhD students, 1 MPhil (by research) student, 6 post-doctoral researchers and 2 visiting professors working on a number of research products underpinned by harnessing of chemical and electrochemical reactions in a variety of applications that range from sustainable batteries to mineral carbonation, sensors, fuel cells and photocatalytic reactions.
Aurelius Group of Companies
Mr Freeman has been a Director at a division of Ecobat Technologies, a QHSE Group Manager in a diversified business portfolio and General Manager of Operations at Veolia and a Group Laboratory Manager for NAMAS accredited analytical Labs. Over his career, he has amassed extensive marketing and commercial knowledge of the Battery Recycling market, and operational delivery of various recycling technologies, logistics, and management systems. In particular he has had responsibility for key operational aspects including quality, health and safety.
He holds a Chemistry degree, Masters in Business Degree, and a Diploma in Health & Safety.
To advance his career, Mr Freeman delivered consultancy and leadership in facilities management during 2014-2015 and became CEO of the Aurelius Group at the end of 2015 to exploit new technology for products and services to markets that can make a real difference in the World.