CALGARY, Alberta – Are electric vehicles really greener and eco-friendly? They seem to be a great solution to fight climate change and they are even said to have zero emissions. But are they really worth it? Do they really pose no harm to Mother Earth?
Well, it turns out that the bane of the EV industry (and climate heroes alike) is that of spent batteries. They are difficult to recycle, and horribly toxic in conventional landfills. The current solution is simple storage at a secure facility while new options are developed. But a little known company, Deep Earth Disposal Battery Solutions, might just have the solution.
D.E.D Battery Solutions has created and patented a process in which batteries are shredded to a pulp of approximately 15° API before being pumped down suspended oil wells throughout western Canada in much the same way produced water is disposed of in those same fields.
The Calgary-based start-up has developed a series of 3 very large industrial blender/ shredders that can handle the materials and chemicals in all current battery technologies; these include, of course, the new-fangled Lithium-Ion types. The blend of ceramics and metals used in the machines is proprietary, but the chief engineer at D.E.D. did offer some insight to 2P News’ Rodecker Smith this morning.
“We use a ceramic cone roller assembly in conjunction with tungsten titanium teeth with several large sluicing tri-aluminum blades coated in a diamond-like coating. These are then submerged in a polyalide slurry of proprietary and patented amorphous silico-metallic fluid alloys. It’s very stable at most temperatures but on hot days it can get a little sporting around the dilution vats.” – Greg Incadone
Once the batteries are ground down into the pasty consistency, they are neutralized with a fluid compound and transported by conventional trucking to disposal sites. The minimum depth of disposal according to D.E.D. is 1500m TVD. This enables them to avoid any contamination of groundwater or operational mining operations at shallower depths.
The technology is currently in its trial phase, with some major car manufacturers being sheepish about the concept of pumping batteries into the Earth. Engineers at D.E.D.m however, do expect a natural absorption of the battery sludge back into the rock components of the surrounding bedrock, and within 10-25,000 years, the material could even be potentially re-mined out as raw materials. Effectively making this the longest recycling program in history.