May 16, 2020

Photonics – the hidden industry worth £12.9bn

Technology
UK
Europe
Sophie Chapman
2 min
Photonics to drive UK's Industrial Strategy and reach the four Grand Challenges
The photonics manufacturing industry contributes £12.9bn (US$17.4bn) annually to the UK’s economy.

The sector – which works with generating, detec...

The photonics manufacturing industry contributes £12.9bn (US$17.4bn) annually to the UK’s economy.

The sector – which works with generating, detecting, and manipulating light – produces a huge range of everyday items.

Optical fibres used for the internet, LED lighting, lasers, ad illuminated displays all fall under photonic manufacturing.

Despite how important the industry is, according to a report released by Knowledge Transfer Network it is largely hidden.

The report, titled “UK Photonics: The Hidden Economic Engine”, argues that it is the seamless functionality of photonic products that allows it to remain unacknowledged.

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In the UK, the sector employees more than 65,000 people, with each employee on average generating £62,000 ($83,677) gross value added (GVA) per annum to the economy.

Germany is Europe’s largest photonics manufacturing market, which contributes to 40% of the continent’s €69bn (£60bn) output.

75% of all photonics manufacturing in the UK is exporting, demonstrating the nation’s global role in the industry.

The report argues that photonics will play a vital role in the UK achieving the four Grand Challeges highlighted in the Industrial Strategy, as the sector can enable artificial intelligence (AI)and a data-driven economy.

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May 12, 2021

Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing

SustainableManufacturing
BatteryCell
EVs
Automotive
2 min
Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell 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.

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