Gorbel Celebrates 40 Years of Manufacturing

Gorbel Inc., a Victor, NY-based manufacturer of material handling and fall protection equipment, celebrates 40 years of manufacturing excellence this year. It marked the occasion with a large celebration for employees, families, and special guests at the Fishers Run headquarters on September 8, 2017.
Gorbel was founded by Clarkson graduate Dave Reh in 1977 as a manufacturer of I-beam jib cranes. Over the years, the company expanded its product line and outgrew the original location in Fairport. Gorbel moved to the current headquarters on Fishers Run in 1990. In 2003, Dave’s son, Brian, became president.
The Gorbel product line now includes Work Station Cranes, Gantry Cranes, Cleveland Tramrail Patented Track Cranes, Tether Track Rigid Rail Fall Protection Anchor Systems, and G-Force Intelligent Lifting Devices.
In 2015, Gorbel expanded beyond the industrial realm by applying the G-Force lifting technology to the medical rehabilitation world with its SafeGait line of rehab solutions, including the SafeGait 360 Balance and Mobility Trainer, the SafeGait EMBRACE Rehabilitation Harness, and the SafeGait ACTIVE Dynamic Mobility Trainer. In fact, Gorbel founder Dave Reh recently had back surgery and is using the SafeGait system as part of his inpatient rehabilitation at Strong Memorial Hospital.
In addition to the Victor headquarters, Gorbel also has manufacturing plants in Pell City, Alabama, and Tianjin, China. Gorbel now employs hundreds of employees worldwide, including over 350 people locally.
“On behalf of everyone at Gorbel, we are grateful to build upon the foundation that my father, Dave Reh, set in place 40 years ago when he took the entrepreneurial leap to start Gorbel,” said Brian Reh. “Our team has been lucky to have such incredible employees and families of employees throughout the journey. From our humble roots in 1977 to the 400+ global employees who call Gorbel home today, every ounce of our success points to the values, teamwork, and growth-oriented culture that we all share. Our mission is to improve people’s lives and I can’t wait to see Gorbel’s positive impacts in the world in the years to come. Here’s to the next 40!”

Toyota Introduces Entry-Level AC-Powered Walkie


Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. (TMHU) recently launched a new AC-powered walkie pallet jack under the brand Tora-Max. The 4,000-pound lift capacity walkie, built for customers in search of an entry-level walkie, provides a simple solution and solid performance. The Tora-Max walkie has a target delivery time of four weeks or less and retails for $2,999.
The new product serves small businesses and hand pallet truck users who are ready to step up to powered equipment. Tora-Max also provides a solution to manufacturers with a “no forklift policy” on the plant floor. Tora-Max walkies are available now at Toyota and Tora-Max forklift dealers across the U.S. Customer shipments are expected to begin by November 1, 2017.
“Tora-Max is the walkie for customers who want a fast, easy, turnkey solution,” said TMHU’s electric product planning specialist Martin Brenneman. “It’s the right no-frills product for the value buyer.”
The new Tora-Max walkie features include:
  • Single point watering system with tool-free cover removal for simple battery maintenance
  • Onboard battery charger
  • Standard wet-cell battery pack
  • Standard turtle-mode button for pinwheel turning in a 93-inch space
  • Multi-functional control handle with ergonomic grips
  • 3.4 mph travel speed
  • 12 month, 1,000 hour, parts-only warranty
About Tora-Max 
The name Tora-Max is derived from the word Tora, which means tiger in Japanese. Max stands for maximizing productivity, which is the result of using an AC-powered electric walkie in many applications. To learn more about the new Tora-Max walkie pallet jack, visit Tora-Max.com.

Yale brings award-winning design concept to Rider Stacker

Yale Europe Materials Handling announces the launch of the Rider Stacker model MS16S. It follows the same design language of the award-winning MPT Series Rider Pallet Truck combined with the improved through-mast visibility and precise handling of the MS10-20 and MS12-16IL Pedestrian Stackers.

Productivity and operator ergonomics continue to remain at the heart of the Yale® design process and both these elements are clear to see in the new Rider Stacker. Retaining the industry-recognized adaptive seat of the MPT truck, the new MS16S offers sit, lean and stand functionality at the touch of a button, giving operators full freedom of movement for medium or long transfers.

F121 - Rider Stacker - Content Image“This new Rider Stacker brings an award-winning design philosophy focusing on ergonomics, comfort, and productivity into a single solution for operations involving the movement of pallets in and around warehouse racking systems,” said Ron Farr, manager for warehouse solutions at Yale. “For operators covering variable distances, it offers a single flexible yet effective solution combining comfort, security, and controllability.”

Traditionally, operators chose between a medium distance platform stacker or a long distance rider stacker, but the no-compromise, flexible design means that the MS16S covers all bases.

By bringing together the award-winning ergonomics of the MPT Rider Pallet truck series with the visibility offered by the proven mast design featured on the MS10-20 range, operators can be confident of having not only a product that provides comfort during long shifts but one that is also effective for a range of applications.

With a load carrying capacity of 1.6 tonnes and a tight turning circle combined with the option for the operator to stand while loading and unloading, the new MS16S aids productivity through easy positioning and maneuverability, even in narrow aisles. As such, it is ideally suited for back-of-store warehouse operations and single and multiple shift stacking applications in industries including food, beverage, logistics, and retail.

For further information on the range of materials handling equipment from Yale visit www.yale.com.

New LPG Engines for Hyster® Forklifts Increase Fuel Efficiency and Power

New engines have been introduced on several Hyster® LPG forklift models in Europe. The new Power Solutions International (PSI) engines are more powerful and fuel efficient, helping to increase productivity and further reduce the total cost of ownership.

Robust, reliable and quiet, the new PSI LPG engines have been introduced following stringent testing by Hyster in several challenging applications.  The engines are reported to deliver increased performance with lower fuel consumption on intensive drive cycles, compared with previous models.

“Several Hyster® models now lift full capacity faster than any other brand in their class,” says Robbert Wijnandts, Counterbalance Product Manager EMEA at Hyster Europe. “They provide excellent power and strength for general logistics operations through to tough manufacturing applications.”

The purpose-built LPG industrial engines were first introduced on the Hyster® S2.0-3.5FT space-saving series in January 2015, with great success.  The premium H2.0-3.5FT together with the new H2.0-3.0XT trucks for everyday applications will now leave the factory in Northern Ireland with the 2.4L PSI engine. The smaller H1.6-2.0FTS models will also now feature the 2.0L PSI engine.

In addition to the increase in performance, the new engines have reduced noise levels to enhance operator comfort and reduce overall workplace noise levels. Noise levels on some models have been reduced to as low as 73 dB(A) (driver’s ear measurement to EN12053) in ECO-eLo mode.

All trucks can be switched between a choice of operating modes. “These modes allow the truck performance to be tailored to the application and give flexibility for the same truck to do more, in peak demands, for example,” explains Robbert.

ECO-eLo mode offers maximum fuel efficiency with a 24%* improvement when measured in loads moved per kilo of fuel, as well as lower noise output.  The HiP (High Performance) mode drives productivity by up to 8%* with 10%* less fuel than the previous engine.  Some models with the 2.4L PSI engine, also have access to the new advanced ECO mode, which provides a balance between power and fuel consumption.

Additional benefits of the Fortens® models include a more sophisticated cooling system with an anti-clog radiator as standard, and the added option to include an even higher capacity anti-clog part for applications where there is a high ambient temperature, or dust and debris filled operating environments. Serviceability is also improved and camshaft belts replacement intervals have been extended from 3500 to 5000 hrs.

“Hyster offers customers different internal combustion engine forklifts to suit different levels of operational intensity and use,” adds Robbert.  “By matching the right product to the application from either the FT or XT series, Hyster LPG customers will now enjoy the even greater reliability, dependability and an even lower cost of ownership.”

Power Solutions International (PSI) is a US-based manufacturer which has been supplying engine systems since 1985. PSI has been a Hyster qualified supplier for a number of years, supplying and supporting high quality and class-leading engine systems.

Electrovaya Announces Cdn $4.3 Million Purchase Orders from Walmart Canada for Forklift Battery Systems in a Distribution Warehouse

“We are very pleased to work with Walmart Canada, a leader in the introduction of green sustainable technology into the distribution and logistics industry,” said Dr. Raj Das Gupta, Vice President, Business Development at Electrovaya. “Our ceramic lithium-ion battery technology is ideally suited to intensive-use applications such as forklifts and other material handling vehicles, supporting both higher efficiency and sustainability.”

The many benefits of Electrovaya’s ELivate batteries were demonstrated through extensive testing by the retailer in its distribution warehouses and by the forklift OEM, before this Purchase Order was issued.

Electrovaya Inc. designs, develops and manufactures proprietary Lithium-ion Ceramic Batteries, battery systems, and battery-related products for energy storage, clean electric transportation and other specialized applications. Electrovaya, through its fully owned subsidiary, Litarion GmbH, also produces cells, electrodes and SEPARION™ ceramic separators and has manufacturing capacity of about 500MWh/annum. Electrovaya is a technology focused company with extensive IP. Headquartered in Ontario, Canada, Electrovaya has production facilities in Canada and Germany with customers around the globe.

To learn more about how Electrovaya and Litarion is powering mobility and energy storage, please explore www.electrovaya.comwww.litarion.com and www.separion.com


The Next Generation of Hoist Electric

Hoist Liftruck spoke to their Next Generation of Hoist Electric and the alternating current power that will drive them, and the company, into the future of electric technology during the first day of The Battery Show.

Already firmly established in the high-capacity forklift manufacturing industry, Hoist released the first-ever electric lift truck to run with an AC drive motor on its product line back in April 2017. The Lazer Series was, until recently, Hoist’s only electric-powered high-capacity lift truck, run with a DC drive motor. As of April 2017, though, customers can choose between Lazers with either AC or DC drive motors.

Beginning Quarter 1 2018, Hoist Liftruck will offer four additional electric models in their product line as a part of the Next Generation of Hoist Electric – the TE-Series, PE-Series, Neptune Electric Series and FR-E Series. The Lazer Series will also be included in the Next Generation, but only with models that include AC drive motors.

Hoist Liftruck’s roots in the electric-powered high-capacity forklift industry run deep, with the company planning to continue expanding their electric-powered forklift and terminal tractor offerings. For over 120 years, Elwell-Parker, and now, Hoist Liftruck, have manufactured electric-powered material handling vehicles for customers everywhere, positioning themselves as the #1 OEM of large capacity (15,000 lbs. and above) electric forklifts in the world. In the last year, Hoist Liftruck saw its best numbers yet with large, electric-powered forklifts and was #1 industry-wide in its category, so expanding electric offerings was the next logical step for the business.

For more information on the Next Generation of Hoist Electric, or any additional information on high-capacity lift trucks, please contact Stu Jacover at stu.jacover@hoistlift.com.

White Paper – The Highest-Energy Li-ion Battery: Unlocking the Potential of the Silicon Anode and Nickel-Rich NMC Cathode

Over the past decade, lithium-ion batteries have become essential to the portable electronics industry, and more recently have been championed as the transportation power source of the future. However, if electric vehicles are to gain widespread commercial success, modern lithium-ion batteries need to be cost-effective, energy dense and long-lasting. Dr Daniela Molina Piper, Dr Tyler Evans, Dr Se-Hee Lee and their team at SiILion Inc have been completely rethinking the fundamental building blocks of these typical batteries, to develop an elegant solution to a significant modern problem.

A lithium-ion battery essentially consists of three components: two electrodes, and an electrolyte solution between them. The basic principle is that lithium ions contained within the electrolyte move from the positive electrode (cathode) to the negative electrode (anode) when the battery is charging, and back again when discharging. Almost all commercial lithium-ion batteries use an anode made primarily of graphite, long regarded as the most efficient material in its ability accept and release lithium ions during battery charging and discharging. The effective capacity of the battery is determined by the number of lithium ions that can reversibly travel between the anode and cathode material throughout battery operation.

The success of the lithium-ion battery is due to its many advantages over other contemporary batteries. Lithium-ion batteries have an almost negligible ‘memory effect’ (also known as the ‘lazy battery effect’) – a phenomenon that causes the battery to lose its ability to store charge (or its ‘capacitance’) with repeating recharges over time. They also have a large ‘energy density’, meaning that they have a high energy yield per unit volume of battery material. Additionally, they have low ‘self-discharge’ – a phenomenon whereby the stored charge in a battery becomes reduced, even when no device is connected to the electrodes. To significantly reduce our carbon emissions, and thus mitigate the most disastrous consequences of climate change, replacing our gasoline-powered cars with battery-powered ones is an essential step. The lightweight nature of lithium-ion batteries, as opposed to hefty lead-acid batteries, makes them an attractive option for this application. Indeed, most electric vehicles currently in development rely on a lithium-ion battery as their power source. However, the main problems that are incurred come down to battery capacity and longevity – the battery simply not having enough energy to power long journey distances. To be fully adopted as a viable transportation solution, the agreed estimate is that batteries need a gravimetric energy density of over 350 Watthours per kilogram (Wh/kg). The best efforts of current lithium-ion batteries fall far short of this, below 300Wh/kg.

A change for the better

Over the past 25 years, incremental design improvements have allowed lithium-ion batteries to increase their energy density by around 5-6% each year, but since their inception, the basic materials used in these batteries have remained unaltered. This slow improvement in performance is underwhelming, and the team at SiILion believes that this adherence to the same stale electrode materials is holding back the growth of the industry. A drastic break with the status quo in lithium-ion materials is needed if the exciting future adaptations predicted for lithium-ion batteries are to be achieved any time soon.

Figure highlighting SilLion’s cycling capability

Silicon anodes could be suitable candidates to kick off this paradigm shift in lithium-ion batteries. In theory, silicon is an ideal replacement for graphite because of its low working potential versus lithium, and its high specific capacity, which is nearly 10 times higher than the most modern graphite anodes. As such, considerable research has been undertaken with the goal of creating a lithium-ion battery with a functioning silicon anode. However, in practice, a silicon anode has several drawbacks, particularly with its propensity to expand when the battery is charged.

The volume expansion of graphite anodes in most commercialized batteries is 10-13%, and silicon’s expansion can be up to almost 300%. This expansion problem causes massive structural damage in the battery and compromises the fragile interface between the solid silicon electrode and the liquid electrolyte (the ‘solid-electrolyte interphase’, or SEI). Most modern research focuses on modifying the silicon material in a complicated way to accommodate more lithium ions without such severe expansion. The drawback of these modifications, however, is that they require intricate and costly processing methods, making this approach less appealing in the manufacture of commercial batteries. As Dr Evans of SiILion Inc explains, “Most of the published work around silicon anodes focuses on complex material modifications that ultimately will introduce manufacturing processes that are very difficult to scale.” A simple, scalable solution to the silicon anode is one key to higher-performing batteries.

But what about the cathode?

By improving the anode’s performance, you can increase a battery’s maximum energy output by 20-30%. However, to unlock the true potential of the battery, the cathode needs to be similarly enhanced. In terms of the cost of producing lithium-ion batteries, the cathode accounts for 30% of the total expense – more than twice that of the anode. Most conventional lithium-ion batteries use expensive and toxic cathodes, containing large amounts of cobalt, which limits their widespread application to electric vehicles.

Thus, cathodes containing large proportions of nickel are being explored as alternatives. Unfortunately, they are also problematic because they can be unstable at high temperatures and their structure may not be adequately robust. So, similar to the silicon anode, modern research is focusing on expensive and elaborate modifications to these nickel-based cathodes, which again will limit their commercial viability.

A revolutionary approach from SiILion Inc

Dr Molina Piper, Dr Evans, Dr Lee and their team at SiILion Inc see the potential of these next-generation electrode materials, but also believe that the complex modification of the cathode and anode is not practical if these materials are to be applied to commercial battery systems. They claim that this method of combining next-generation materials with old-generation electrode and electrolyte designs leads to obvious incompatibility issues. Because of this, the materials are increasingly over-engineered, and very little practical progress is made.

The team at SiILion is beginning to rewrite the rulebook for lithium-ion battery design. Not only do the cathode and anode materials need to be next-generation, the entire battery also needs revamping. The researchers are shifting their focus to auxiliary battery materials, building a support system for the modern silicon and nickel-rich electrodes using unique electrolyte compositions and electrode binders, while maintaining the advantage of decades of manufacturing expertise by premising their designs on compatibility with existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing methods. As Dr Molina Piper explains, “ Enabling the next-generation electrode materials will mean enabling a next-generation lithium-ion system design.” Moreover, the strategy for attaining next-generation performance must be commercially viable. SiILion’s cell technology, through utilization of lower-cost materials and manufacturing compatibility, will be 30% less costly ($/kWh) than state-of-the-art lithium-ion cells. By approaching the problem from the view of the battery cell system, SiILion achieves its breakthrough energy density and performance.

Promising results

With this philosophy in mind, the team at SiILion has undertaken the task of redesigning the old lithium-ion battery system, and their approach has already revealed some impressive achievements. SiILion has shown that when integrated into its unique system, state-of-the-art ‘nickel-rich’ cathodes and silicon anodes demonstrate a much-improved structural stability and safety, even at high temperatures. Dr Molina Piper also says that “SiILion has created the first viable 80% (by weight) silicon lithium-ion battery anode, capable of integration into standard electrode manufacturing processes.”

In fact, every silicon material that has been implemented into the SiILion system has shown an improvement in performance. “SiILion has worked with over two dozen types of silicon active materials (from over one dozen vendors), all showing marked improvement in capacity retention and coulombic efficiency when used in SiILion’s anode systems, regardless of the size or shape of silicon particles,” says Dr Evans. Of course, the team has its preferred material candidates, based on material stability and availability at scale. This ability to turn so many commercially available silicon materials into effective anodes could send shockwaves through the industry, making the current, over-engineered silicon anodes look overpriced by comparison.

The exact details of SiILion’s battery design remain confidential, but the problematic expansion effects that plague modern silicon anodes appear to have been overcome. As Dr Evans stated, the anodes display a minimal decrease in capacity after hundreds of charging and discharging cycles, and exhibit high ‘coulombic efficiencies’ – meaning that the charge is reversibly and effectively transferred through the system. This efficiency has been tested and proved with a variety of electrolyte materials, including coveted non-flammable electrolytes, which also shows the flexibility of the SiILion system.

Potential applications

The real strength of SiILion’s battery system is its simplicity and its ability to be customized. The SiILion anode design can be employed with conventional electrolyte materials and a range of cathode materials, or with non-flammable electrolytes and next-generation, high-energy cathode materials. Crude, low-cost silicon materials, such as large-particle ‘micron’ silicon materials, can be incorporated, or more exotic anode active materials, such as silicon nano-wires or nano-featured silicon/carbon composites, could be employed when the system requires higher power with faster charging capabilities. SiILion’s major focus lies on pairing its anode designs with ionic liquid electrolyte materials that can be used for applications that need the highest energy density with an emphasis on the utmost degree of safety.

The team at SiILion particularly stresses the high emphasis they put on safety when designing their next-generation lithium-ion batteries. As anyone who is aware of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco can attest, malfunctions involving lithium-ion cells have the potential to be catastrophic. If a faulty battery were scaled-up to the sizes required for electric vehicles, the consequences of malfunctioning would be even greater. With this in mind, SiILion’s use of a non-flammable electrolyte aims to eliminate the stigma that is associated with upscaling lithium-ion batteries to electric vehicle proportions.

In addition to the system’s versatility to accommodate the needs of various applications, the technology was specifically designed by SiILion so that it could be readily integrated into the existing infrastructure that is currently used to mass-produce lithium-ion batteries. This drastically reduces any costs that would be incurred when updating the current hardware, and makes the prospect of using this system commercially all the more attractive.

What the future holds for SiILion

“The SiILion team members have become experts in cell design around high-loading silicon anodes, and this has proved very valuable,” Dr Molina Piper states. “SiILion can integrate a wide range of silicon materials into its anode, to adapt to performance needs, and this also allows the SiILion cell design to realize the improvements that will arise due to new material introduction into the lithium-ion industry.”

So, building on the team’s experience and expertise, SiILion’s next endeavor will be to optimize the material properties in its system, and then scale up the technology to truly demonstrate its value for the needs of electric vehicles and other applications. The company is now manufacturing 2.5Ah prototypes, capable of achieving >300Wh/kg, a pre-requisite step to ensuring that SiILion’s technology is inserted successfully into the markets. SiILion has also worked with its suppliers and manufacturing partners to validate its claims of lower cost, projecting a 25-35% cost saving, on a $/kWh basis, relative to current technologies.

Along the way to enabling vehicle electrification, SiILion is targeting the application of its technology in unmanned vehicles, specialty applications and consumer electronics, with its current generation of prototypes designed to meet the requirements of these markets. With its business development efforts led by Acting CEO Ed Williams, SiILion’s first-generation prototype technology is under evaluation or requested for evaluation by numerous lithium-ion manufacturers and end users active in its target markets. Ultimately, through development projects already underway and in the pipeline, SiILion is targeting a battery prototype that is predicted to deliver roughly 390Wh/kg – far greater than any commercial lithium-ion battery currently available, and tantalizingly close to the energy density stated as optimal for electric vehicle applications.

SilLion’s presentation, ‘Advanced Li-Ion Chemistries that Leverage the Existing Manufacturing Infrastructure’ took place on September 12, 2017, at The Battery Show Conference 2017.

KION North America Unveils First Forklift at Volvo’s First American Production Facility

Volvo Car US Operations, Inc. recently hosted an unveiling event for their first forklift delivery from KION North America.

In January, KION North America announced an agreement with the global automotive manufacturer to supply the material handling equipment for the company’s first American factory located in Berkeley County, South Carolina.

“Today is a reminder that one day, someday is now,” said U.S. Representative Mark Sanford at the event. “You hear people and businesses say that one day we’ll do this, someday we’ll do that, but today we see those statements come to fruition.”

A member of one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial trucks, KION North America is located just five miles from the new Volvo Cars factory, which will be the global production home of the all new S60 Sedan.

The fleet includes forklifts, reach trucks and tow tractors, all provided and serviced by KION North America.

“Not only is this the fifth Volvo factory that KION Group is supplying equipment to around the world, but this will be the first complete Lithium-ion fleet in automotive manufacturing in North America,” said Vincent Halma, president and CEO of KION North America.

An environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional lead-acid batteries, the Lithium-ion technology underpins the partnership and gave KION the competitive edge.

“It’s the next generation of material handling power solutions,” said Halma.

Equipped with the most innovative and efficient material handling equipment on the market, the Volvo factory will be capable of producing up to 120,000 cars per year.

“Our goal is to have the least intrusive footprint as possible,” said Katarina Fjording, vice president of purchasing and manufacturing for Volvo. “By 2025 we aspire to be carbon neutral, and implementing Lithium-ion powered industrial trucks at our facility is a big step towards that.”

In addition to supplying and servicing the equipment, KION North America is also hosting training at their Summerville facility for all of the Volvo equipment operators throughout the duration of the five-year agreement.

Headquartered in Summerville, S.C., KION North America Corporation is a member of the KION GROUP AG, one of the world’s two leading manufacturers of industrial trucks. Their brand companies, Linde, Baoli and STILL serve the specific requirements of the U.S., Canadian and Mexican markets with a comprehensive and complementary product portfolio. Their products are known for their innovative technologies, low energy consumption and low operating costs.

How Wildfire Smoke Might Help Cool the Pacific Northwest

Forest fires cooling effect

Supplied by Flickr; CC-BY 2.0 License


It might seem odd to think that a wildfire might actually be able to cool off a region, but in one sense, that’s actually true. It may not be the case at those locations where the fires are in progress and consuming large tracts of forest, wherever the wind blows them, but in those sections downwind of the blazes, it does have a curious effect.

The Canadian wildfires which are currently dominating parts of British Columbia are being borne along powerful winds which are blowing in a persistently southern direction, which means they are sweeping toward the northwestern United States like Washington and Oregon. A blanket of haze fairly thick in some areas and thinner in others is thus being carried into many of the cities in those northern states and is actually blocking out the rays of the sun to some extent. 

Sun Screen in Place

With this shield in place throughout July 2017, and for the upcoming weeks, it can be expected that a kind of sun screen will be shielding residents of those areas from the hottest rays of the sun, and will impart a slight cooling trend to the region. With sunlight being reflected off that haze back into earth’s atmosphere, much less reaches the surface to make residents uncomfortable. 

This setup is counteracting the normal effects of the high-pressure systems which have dominated the weather in the Pacific Northwest throughout the 2017 summer, and which have brought record-setting temperatures to the region in the process. These high-pressure air masses, which normally move through the area have instead stalled out, and have remained in place for long periods of time bringing heat-wave type temperatures to the entire region. But with the thick haze carried southward from British Columbia, much of the accompanying sunshine has been blocked and prevented from adding to the cumulative heating impact.

How long will wildfire smoke be in place?

That steady stream of wildfire smoke can be expected to keep pouring out of Canada for the next several weeks since the British Columbia wildfires are still far from being controlled. However, Canada is receiving help from other countries, notably New Zealand, which has sent at least 80 experienced firefighters to help quell the blazes in the western provinces. Additionally, as summer comes to an end and the weather cools, we hope that the changing of the seasons will provide Canada and the Northwestern United States with some relief.

Nature’s Packaging supports sustainable North American wood packaging and is committed to North American forest sustainability. Forest fires are integral to forest health and can be beneficial to the plants and wildlife within a forest.


Why so much smoke in Seattle from B.C. wildfires? http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/weather/why-so-much-smoke-from-b-c-fires-natures-air-conditioning-is-broken-weather-service-says/

Canadian wildfires are so bad you can see them from space: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/canada-wildfires-space-vancouver-visible-nasa-worldview-british-columbia-satellites-smoke-a7877046.html


Lithium and the Rechargeable Battery Market: What Can We Expect for the Next 10 Years?


Christophe Pillot, a worldwide specialist in Lithium batteries markets, will be at the ICBR 2017, giving a summary of the rechargeable battery market and the main trends we can expect to see over the coming ten years. In advance of the September congress, Christophe Pillot offers a number of interesting insights, which you can read in the interview below:

1. Mr Pillot, the powerful Lithium-ion batteries are predicted to grow strongly. How is the current demand for these batteries developing?

I will present detailed figures at the ICBR 2017, but I can say that the LIB market achieves more than 90 GWh demand in 2016, that means a 25% average growth rate per year for the last 10 years.

2. In which areas of application is the strongest growth recorded?

The trend continues unchanged; Automotive and e-buses, mostly in China show the strongest growth. In 2016, Automotive and e-buses consume 50% of the LIB. Other applications are portable devices (35%). Then, stationary and industrial applications start to use Lithium-ion batteries and replace sometimes lead acid batteries.

3. How do battery manufacturers react to the high demand for Lithium-ion batteries? Are there any plans for new production capacities known?

Huge investments are on the way in China and Korea but also as you know in the US with TESLA and in Europe. LG and SAMSUNG will both start Lithium-ion production in Europe in 2018.

4. The recycling of Lithium-ion batteries is only worthwhile in case of high volumes and high Lithium prices. What is the current trend for the Lithium price?

The Lithium is not the major metal issue in a Lithium-ion battery. Cost of Lithium represents less than 2% of the battery pack. Cobalt, Nickel or Copper are more important in LIB batteries than Lithium. Nevertheless, the Lithium price increased because most of the Lithium is consumed by the battery industry. It increased from 7 US$/kg to almost 25 US$/kg on the spot market at the beginning of 2016. 

5. In a foreseeable future do you know about any technology that will replace the current Lithium-ion chemistries?

No. Lithium-ion will be the major choice for portable devices and automotive in the next 10 years. Li-Sulfur, Li-Air, fuel cells and so one will not be on the mass market before at least 10 years.

6. Do you foresee a significant development in Europe for batteries technologies in a particular field of application?

Major application in Europe will be Electric & Plug in hybrid. Then, on a longer term basis, lead acid starter batteries could be replaced by Lithium-ion in stop-start cars, micro hybrid cars, 48v batteries.

Don’t miss this opportunity to exchange news, views, and ideas with experts from all areas of the battery recycling sector! Again this year we have put together an interesting and highly diverse program for our visitors. We are particularly looking forward to our keynote speakers, who will open the congress on September 20. These speakers include:

  • Carlos Martins (Secretary of State of Environment Portugal),
  • Nuno Lacasta (President Portuguese Environment Agency),
  • Prof. Vera Susanne Rotter (Technical University Berlin) and
  • Christophe Pillot (Director Avicenne Energy)

For all the details on the program and how to register, go to http://www.icm.ch/icbr-2017.