‘Interview with TotalEnergies Fluids (TEF)’
August 31st, 2023Back to posts
August 31st, 2023Back to posts
|ICM: Please present the activities of TotalEnergies Fluids in a few words.
Zubin Arora: At TotalEnergies Fluids (TEF), we are committed to developing high-purity hydrocarbon solvents striving to provide the customer with the best performance at a competitive price. We develop de-aromatized and biodegradable products with a focus on reducing the environmental impact through our proprietary process and the use of appropriate raw material sources at our plants in Oudalle, France and Bayport, USA.Our products are used in wide-ranging applications, including cosmetics, animal vaccines, water treatment, crop protection products, drilling fluids, tires, inks, marine dispersants, paints, and now battery recycling. We have a strong focus on R&D and work closely with our customers to anticipate future needs and provide solutions and services adapted to their needs for a two-way sustainable relationship.
ICM: TEF is new to the battery recycling market, what are you bringing to the market?
Zubin Arora: What’s indeed new is our bio-diluent, Elixore Biolife EV 205. It’s made from circular economy feedstocks such as Used Cooking Oil (UCO). It fits the Material Recovery phase of the battery recycling value chain, which primarily deals with metal extraction through hydrometallurgy. Elixore Biolife EV 205 is designed to ensure a universal fit.Its uniqueness lies in three ways:Compatibility: A universal diluent compatible with different solvent extraction systems of a battery recycling flowsheetSustainability: With a staggeringly low carbon footprint, it’s a green alternative that drops the carbon footprint by approximately -2400 kgCO2eq./ton.Seamless Transition: 1:1 easy replacement for the current fossil-based alternatives as it has similar physical and chemical characteristics.We have tested thoroughly at the Hydrometallurgical Department of the University of Lorraine in Nancy, France. The recently published paper “Low-carbon footprint diluents in solvent extraction for lithium-ion battery recycling” in the journal Royal Society of Chemistry is open access and can be accessed.
ICM: Why is it important for you to attend ICBR 2023?
Zubin Arora: ICBR 2023 is a very important event for us as it provides us with a 360-degree view of the battery recycling value chain. It is a dynamically emerging ecosystem and there is not just one type of company looking to set up a battery recycling plant. We have seen that there are synergies to be had with cross-industry partnerships, joint ventures, licensing, and even up-scaling. As a result, many different business models are in play. Our objectives align perfectly with the multiple facets of the value chain. Thus, for us, first, it allows us to stay updated with the recent state of events to follow the developments more closely. Second, to develop or refine our products and offers to best match the industrial needs. Third, to bring our expertise to this ecosystem with bio-diluents to help reduce the overall carbon footprint of a battery recycling process. And finally, to find synergies and work together if a project permits.We are looking to meet companies that are working with hydrometallurgical battery recycling process using Solvent Extraction. Be it focused battery recyclers, or chemical, or metal processing companies, or companies at the nascent stage of their development thinking about hydrometallurgy.Our aim is to have a dialogue face to face with potential and current clients to work together to meet the ambitions in terms of reducing the carbon footprint of the solvent extraction/hydrometallurgy process by using bio-diluents.
ICM: How do you see the development of this market in the next few years?
Zubin Arora: We see the development to be very promising. There are a lot of new battery recycling plants coming on stream in the next 2-3 years.The regulation is evolving fast and in terms of technology, metal recovery rates are increasing by more than 90% thus paving the way for new and a mix of hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical flowsheets. We can already see the companies aiming for process simplicity, low environmental impact, the ability to treat different types of batteries, and the ease of scalability/replicability.Europe is leading at the moment with a lot of European Union and individual country-based incentive and funding programs. But other countries and continents are picking up speed as well as most companies are present in more than one geography.
ICM: Why should potential partners work with TEF?
Zubin Arora: TotalEnergies Fluids is a trusted name in metal extraction diluents with Elixore product line available and used in all 6 continents around the world. We have a strong focus on R&D and are pioneers in low carbon footprint bio-diluents coming from circular economy feedstocks. Elixore Biolife EV 205 is a testament to that. We have a full range of products and accompany our customers in all stages of development: lab evaluation, joint studies, pilot-plant programs, total cost of ownership, and now total cost of CO2. This is our 3rd year in a row at ICBR and we are the only diluent company that’s present here for the last 3 years, thus showing our commitment to work and contribute actively to the battery recycling industry.
France August, 2023