Squeezing the juice: Ohio startup repurposes batteries that still have life for new uses

Roger Wilkens, Re-POWER executive director, with his vehicle charging station.

Glouster, Ohio, startup Re-POWER Second Life Battery Network will recycle lithium-ion batteries for additional use in other applications in a traditionally underserved rural area, reports Energy News Network. The group aims to collect and repurpose Li-ion batteries for a variety of devices including laptops and electric vehicles.

  • Li-ion batteries typically contain multiple cells, but when one cell gives out the whole battery pack usually gets thrown out. Re-POWER tests the packs and recovers the cells that still have viable life.

  • Re-POWER is part of a pilot program to produce battery packs for electric bikes, with an eventual goal of producing battery storage for homes or businesses.

  • The startup has a regional focus in Appalachia, which helps to create clean energy jobs and boost economic development in an economically hard-hit area. It could also create better decentralized energy options in rural areas.

🔋 BATTERIES: In other battery news, CBS 58 in Milwaukee profiles SafeLi, a startup spun out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that won a Department of Energy grant earlier this year to commercialize their lithium-ion battery material that increases energy storage capacity while lowering battery costs.

⚖️ LAWSUIT: California electric vehicle manufacturer Karma Automotive has filed a lawsuit against Ohio-based EV startup Lordstown Motors claiming intellectual property theft, breach of contract, and poaching employees, reports The Detroit Bureau. The lawsuit seeks damages in addition to an injunction preventing Lordstown Motors from using Karma Automotive’s intellectual property.

☢️ NUCLEAR: Chicago-based energy engineering firm Sargent & Lundy is partnering with Fluor and NuScale Power to design, construct, and market new small modular nuclear power plants in North America.

💰 FUNDING: The U.S. Department of Energy is soliciting white papers from U.S. businesses or nonprofit organizations aiming to develop high-performance fuels that boost combustion engines’ efficiency and cut emissions. Proposals are due Jan. 14.

🤝 ACQUISITION: Evanston, Illinois-based alternative asset manager Magnetar Capital acquired investment group Lendlease’s renewable energy business unit, which will operate under the new name Vesper Energy.

🏆 HONORS: Argonne National Laboratory scientists won five 2020 R&D 100 Awards for technologies developed there, including a public domain model to help commercialize lithium-ion battery technologies and an innovation to convert carbon dioxide to products such as ethanol.

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