Cambridge Consultants revolutionises the production of microcapsules
The product design and development f...
The applied science unit at Cambridge Consultants has created a new way to continuously manufacture microcapsules.
The product design and development firm took a fresh look at the production of microcapsules and re-worked it to create them in real-time, allowing increased flexibility for manufacturers.
Microcapsules, not to be confused with microbeads, are small droplets of material in a protective coating, commonly used in products such as chewing gum, protein powders, and pesticides. They release the right ingredient at the right time, for example bursting when bitten into, or releasing with hot water in the case of freeze-dried food.
Microcapsules are normally manufactured in bulk, meaning the creation of smaller batches are inflexible and uneconomic. Cambridge Consultants has found a way to manipulate the process and make it more efficient.
“This approach allows the continuous monitoring of produced microcapsules and enables real-time control of the process,” said Andrew Strong, Head of Manufacturing Innovation at Cambridge Consultants. “As a result, this can lead to improved controllability, consistency and yield of the finished product – and reduced waste for operators. Similarly, development costs are reduced by removing the need to produce a full batch. This makes it easier for manufacturers to tailor the chemistry to the application – for example, producing biodegradable shells.
“Introducing this flexibility and an element of personalisation into the microcapsule process is a win-win for manufacturers. Essentially, we’ve taken a well-known chemistry method crucial to a huge range of industries and wrapped our own science-led innovation around it to create a more efficient, cost-effective process that delivers over and over again.”
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Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.