Evolve Renewable Materials Inc: Pioneering Green Technology in Battery Recycling

By David Thompson

Mar 02, 2024 02:09 AM EST

Evolve Renewable Materials(Evolve Renewable Materials) (Credit: Getty Image)

Several states have banned the sale of new gasoline cars by 2035. That isn't too far off. If that trend is adopted nationwide, it is predicted that a majority of passenger vehicles on the roads by 2050 will be electric. Furthermore, a 2023 report from the International Council on Clean Transportation also predicts that by 2030, approximately 1.2 million lithium-ion batteries will reach their end-of-life stage, increasing to 50 million by 2050. That's a heck of a lot of batteries.

In order to significantly reduce the demand for new lithium, cobalt, nickel, and manganese and minimize waste and unsafe disposal, efficient recycling of end-of-life vehicle batteries is essential. Effective and safe recycling practices amidst the growing adoption of batteries and electricity are needed to mitigate the negative environmental impact as well. 

The team at Evolve Renewable Materials Inc. couldn't agree more and is setting a new standard of sustainability in the lithium battery industry. The company is actively developing carbon-friendly, green technologies for recycling lithium-ion batteries and refining materials. Through their patented innovations, EV battery manufacturers will be able to utilize 100% zero-waste, environmentally friendly, and locally recycled materials to produce new batteries.

Evolve's innovative technology sets it apart from older, less environmentally friendly processes prevalent in the industry. While many companies prioritize short-term gains over long-term environmental impact, Evolve prioritizes eco-consciousness in every aspect of its operations. "Other battery recycling companies use older technologies that aren't as green because developing new innovations takes time," explains Mike Vogel, Evolve's CEO and founder, "when you have existing traditional recycling options available to enable a first-to-market strategy approach, being green wasn't as important. After all, isn't recycling in itself good enough even if it's not environmentally friendly?"

"We've been able to identify innovation gaps and plan our approach to best meet customer and consumer needs, improving the recycling and materials recovery process to create a high purity, clean product, and overall deliver a greener solution for everybody," adds Dan Loper, Evolve's Business Development Manager. 

One key differentiator for Evolve is their utilization of vacuum-based technology, a method that minimizes environmental impact compared to traditional processes. Keely Sage, Evolve's Process Engineer, explains, "Other countries are doing what they call pyrometallurgy, which is a very dirty process. They just kind of light everything on fire and extract from that what they can. We're trying to move away from that. We are improving upon what others are doing, and asking, 'how do we make this greener and more efficient in every way?'"

Dan adds, "A lot of places use hydro-processes as well, but then you're creating a situation where you have all this liquid waste you have to get rid of, so we're trying to avoid both of those sorts of avenues and going a different route, a route that is more CO2 friendly."

Evolve's Commitment to Safety

electronics, eco car, car charger, and charging station
(Photo : CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash)

Safety is a key differentiator for Evolve's battery recycling solution. This is evident in their rigorous hazard management protocols. Lithium-ion batteries present significant safety concerns, particularly the risk of fire. Evolve prioritizes the safe handling and recycling of these batteries to minimize the risk of accidents and environmental damage.

Tom Plute, Evolve's EHS Director, shares, "For right now, our number one concern, and the concern of everybody with lithium batteries, is fire. You'll see that in the news. You see the EV cars catching on fire, that kind of thing. Not recycling lithium batteries is a big problem because they often cause big landfill fires that spread and obviously cause a lot of damage. Keeping them out of landfills, getting them to the right locations and into the right hands to recycle, Evolve's hand, that is what is best for everybody."

He adds, "Even damaged, defective, recalled batteries need to be in the right hands, not in the trash, not in landfills. That is another problem Evolve is solving."

Keely adds, "And there's this thing called thermal runaway, and it's kind of like the biggest reason why batteries explode or catch fire. So the causes of that can be from overcharging, overheating, penetrating the battery, malfunctioning, like the crushing of batteries, which, again, as Tom said, could happen in a landfill. They short circuit, and that can cause explosion fires, which could be from poor handling and insufficient training. And I think even if you're not recycling the batteries, just getting the word out so everyone is aware is really important to us. Finding ways to mitigate those risks and teach lithium battery safety and battery safety, in general, is significant and differentiates us."

Dan elaborates, "Every conference that we've gone to so far has had extensive talks about how to handle batteries safely. Being aware of the safety risks and being able to act quickly and have the right protocols in place is vitally important. And that's what Tom's been doing for Evolve."


Used batteries ready for recycling
(Photo : John Cameron on Unsplash)

By pooling resources and expertise, the company aims to achieve its shared objective of locally sourcing battery materials while keeping the materials in the supply chain. Dan explains, "At the end of the day, I think everyone is working towards the same goal. And some folks have different skill sets than others. So, we're focusing on lithium batteries. Maybe we get in a batch of batteries that has other kinds of chemicals in it, and we know folks that we can send those batteries off to that are specialized in handling them, like the traditional alkaline batteries; for example, we want to collaborate."

Dan adds, "Obviously, it's a business. We do need to make enough money to operate. But if you have the same goal, it's easier to justify working together. And I don't think that's true for every industry; it makes this industry very unique."

The Future of Evolve

Evolve's approach to growth is characterized by sustainability and careful planning. Unlike companies that rush into rapid expansion and accumulate debt, Evolve prioritizes sustainable growth strategies. Dan shares, "We're not rushing to grow too fast, too quickly. We're trying to make sure we're very detailed in hitting every point as thoroughly as we can before we move on to the next step." This meticulous approach ensures that every step of the company's growth is well-thought-out and aligned with its commitment to environmental responsibility.

Evolve Renewable Materials Inc. is at the forefront of green technology in battery recycling. Through their patent-pending technology and processes, stringent safety measures, collaborative spirit, and sustainable growth strategies, Evolve is not just revolutionizing the industry—they're leading the way for a cleaner, greener future.

Learn more about Evolve's mission to electrify humanity and reduce global carbon emissions sustainably.

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