ACE Green Recycling (http://www.acegreenrecycling.com/) is an epoch-making and innovative battery recycling company with emission free technology to recycle lead acid and lithium-ion batteries. Their zero-emission and oxygen releasing technology for lead battery recycling which has been operating commercially for 2 years, is now being deployed in several places in the world and now they are expanding to Japan. Metal Solution Provider, a metal trading company in Tokyo, with key relationships in metals business across Japan shall operate as ACE Green’s local representative office in Japan, and MIRU.com conducted an online interview on Friday March 18.
Traditionally, used lead acid battery (ULAB) recycling happens only with smelting at more than 1,000 degrees C, and it causes a huge amount of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to the burning process. In comparison, ACE's technology works at room temperature with electric power only. As a result, no GHG-emission, yet produces oxygen from the electrolysis, while solid waste is reduced more than 80%. This recycling system requires external heat only when lead ingot is melted at a final stage. ACE is developing solar power electric kettle to eliminate the use of fossil fuel, too.
Even though Lithium ion batteries grow rapidly, lead acid batteries still play an important role in the automobile industry and renewable energy storage for the telecommunication industry.
Nishchay Chadha, ACE's CEO, is an ex-Trafigura and Siddharth Roy is an ex-Hindustan Zinc Limited. Nick Hinohara, MSP's president, has known them for a long time.
During the interview, the emphasis was put on how the previously mentioned ACE's green technology can contribute to the prevention of global warming by zero-emission and zero-carbon with significant recovery rate. In a simple word, ACE's ULAB recycling system is hydrometallurgy, but not pyrometallurgy. If the power comes from solar power, 100% renewable energy operation is achievable. In addition, the initial costs could be lower than setting up a smelter.
Zero-emission includes zero-wastewater. Process uses organic food grade chemicals. The slag treatment is the most concerning part in lead smelting, but their technology can reduce the volume by 80-90%. The entire system is automated and quiet. Before the melting stage there is no CO2 emission due to room temperature operation. The recovery rate for lead is more than 99%. Thus, this system is ideally perfect in all aspects. ACE has already developed a similar technology for LIB recycling too.
Tanamachi: Where is the ACE's business area?
Mr. Chadha: We'd like to upgrade the technology and equipment in areas where recycling systems are already established, such as South Korea, England, Japan, India and the US. Focus is also on ULAB exporting countries in Asia, Africa, Middle East and America.
The strongest advantage of our new technology is zero-emission and commercial competitiveness compared to smelting. We are also working on possibilities of generating carbon credits for our projects.
Tanamachi: How do you financially get involved in overseas operations?
Mr. Chadha: Mostly either licensing deals with existing recyclers, 100% capital by ACE or create a joint venture with a local company. We're very flexible in business form.
Tanamachi: What is your installation plan?
Mr. Chadha: We've been operating in India for more than 2 years. A new operation will start this June in Taiwan and India, and by the end of this year, Singapore and European operations will start. We recently signed a 10 year licensing deal with Asia’s leading battery recycler Pondy Oxides & Chemicals Ltd (POCL) (http://pocl.co.in/) to set-up 40,000 tons per year of emission free battery recycling. We also expect a new facility in Thailand next year. In contrast with conventional pyrometallurgy equipment which needs to be replaced every 6 year or so, our modules can run between 15 and 20 years.
Tanamachi: This incredible technology sounds too-good-to-be-true. Did you create this ideal machine by yourself? Hydrometallurgy process for ULAB has been actively discussed for the last few years, but nothing has been commercially practical yet.
Mr. Chadha: I agree. First of all, our technology has been developed solely by our scientists, and technology is fundamentally different from other companies'. Our team has 25 professionals working for 8 years now. We aim to expand to LIB recycling this summer in India.
Tanamachi: I am confident that many of our readers would be interested in such an innovative recycling process of ULAB especially when higher value is put on a company's zero-emission and zero-carbon operation. Is your target secondary ULAB recyclers in the Japanese market?
Mr. Chadha: Yes, we would be very happy to partner with Japanese smelters, but battery manufacturers such as Panasonic, GS Yuasa, and other Japanese producers located in foreign countries can also take a benefit from our technology. We look for such opportunities, too.
（IRUNIVERSE YUJI TANAMACHI＆MSP）