Battery conference hears how low-cost, safety and high recycling rates can keep lead batteries ahead of the field
Delegates at the 15th European Lead Battery Conference (15ELBC) heard how groundbreaking innovation and the unique advantages of lead batteries as an enabling technology can open up future energy storage markets for lead batteries.
The sold-out conference, in Valletta, Malta, (13-16 September) had a record attendance of more than 800 participants from 52 countries across the globe and 100 exhibition stands.
Bringing together all those involved in the development, production and use of lead batteries the programme explained the latest technical advances that help make lead batteries the lowest cost and most sustainable energy storage solution.
In his keynote address Bob Flicker, of East Penn Manufacturing, said that innovation had revitalised lead battery technology in the past 20 years thanks to the efforts of the industry and the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium, improving durability, manufacturability, safety and reducing environmental impact.
He added: ‘Lead batteries have a strong past and an optimistic future. The new generation batteries will be an enabling technology for hybrid electric vehicles, smart grids, renewable energy storage and other potential markets.’
Speakers from outside the industry also backed this outlook, including Eckhard Karden, of Ford, Germany, who said that lead batteries still had an important role to play in automotive applications. While Luis Munuera, of the International Energy Agency, described how in electricity storage ‘batteries can play a very valuable role in system operation and managing network bottlenecks’.
Addressing how lead batteries could keep their advantage in the market place Christian Rosenkranz, of JCI, Germany, said it was necessary to look beyond the chemical properties of energy storage applications and ensure that all socio-economic and environmental impacts, such as recycling, are considered as well. ‘Lead battery technology due to its performance, robustness and infinite recyclability remains very attractive,’ he added.
And Doug Lambert, of Wirtz Manufacturing, called for the concept of lead batteries as a zero environmental emissions storage solution across its entire life cycle.
The presentations from the event are now available on a web-link and are priced at EUR 120. If you would like to order the link please contact the Conference Secretariat at [email protected]
The 16th European Lead Battery Conference took place in Vienna, Austria, 4-7 September, 2018.
International Lead Award
Former head of ILA receives prestigious industry award
David Wilson, former head of the International Lead Association (ILA), has been recognised for his contribution to the lead and lead battery industry with the International Lead Award.
He was presented with the award at the ILA’s 15th European Lead Battery Conference(15ELBC), in Valletta, Malta.
Each year the Award is presented to someone who has made a significant contribution to science and practice in areas such as lead production and recycling, lead alloy development, or battery design and performance.
As ILA Managing Director, David Wilson oversaw significant changes in the organisation. After taking a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Nottingham and a year of editing the Faraday Transactions of the Royal Society of Chemistry, David joined the Lead Development Association (LDA) in 1976 to work mainly on the environmental aspects of lead and was appointed Director of the LDA in 1990.
As the lead industry’s environmental, health and safety issues became more global, he oversaw an expansion of membership and funding to include almost all European lead producers and changed the name of the organization to the Lead Development Association International (LDAI).
In 2000, LDAI launched a Voluntary Risk Assessment Program for lead, funded by both lead producers and consumers, which subsequently formed the basis for industry compliance under the EU REACH Directive.
It was also under David’s leadership in 2004 that formal ties were established with the International Lead Zinc Research Organization and the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium. The name changed as well from LDAI to ILA and in the same year he was made a MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for his services to the lead industry.
Presenting the Award, Dick Amistadi, said: “He has played a significant role in ensuring the continuation of the industry and the benefits it brings.”
He observed that David had played a part in ensuring that both the industry and society have and will continue to have the opportunity to carry on producing and using a unique product which continues to bring benefits to everyone.
David Wilson recalled that when he joined the industry total lead use amounted to 3.5m tonnes a year with 1.5m tonnes going into batteries. In 2015 batteries accounted for almost 90% of lead use – a staggering 10 million tonnes and still growing.
Addressing the conference he said: “I certainly didn’t expect to stay for a working lifetime, but when a job is interesting and enjoyable, and when you make many good friends both in the office and in countries around the world, the years do tend to slip by and before you know it, the time has come to retire.”
Notes to editors
Previous International Lead Award winners:
2003 John E Manders
2004 Jerome F Cole
2005 Lan Lam
2006 R David Prengaman
2007 John L Devitt
2008 Allan Cooper
2009 L Pugazhenthy
2010 Detchko Pavlov
2011 Robert P Flicker
2012 Norbert Maleschitz
2013 Brian Wilson
2014 Dick Amistadi
2015 Bob Nelson
The International Lead Association is the trusted global trade association for the lead industry and its member companies are at the forefront of the mining, smelting, refining and recycling of lead. ILA represents the producers of about 3 million tonnes of lead. The association is working towards a vision of a sustainable global lead industry that is recognised for the positive contribution it makes to society.
ILA takes a leadership role in promoting responsible care and educating society about the benefits of lead for today’s and future generations. Recent studies have shown that lead-based batteries achieve a recycling rate of 99% in the EU and USA.
With offices in the UK and USA, ILA provides a range of technical, scientific and communications support for member companies, downstream users and the wider lead industry. ILA also supports the development of lead-based batteries through the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium which manages the research, development and promotion of lead batteries for markets such as hybrid electric vehicles, start-stop automotive systems and grid-scale energy storage applications. www.ila-lead.org