Tag Archives: Alternative energy

Will EV Batteries achieve economies of scale?

So says the Department of Energy. (PDF Warning) This graph shows it all:

After reading the report, it seems the trajectory of this forecast was demand driven.  I have no doubt that economies of scale and innovation manufacturing processes can help bring the cost down but I am skeptical of the cost of lithium inputs.  It is not that abundant as oil, as there is only two regions I can think of (China and Bolivia) that have substantial sums of it.  But this does bode well for Intercon’s idea for reusing batteries for alternative power sources, as this will push prices downward for aftermarket batteries.  See, I said that economies of scale was possible! (or at least the DoE confirms it…)

HT: Engadget

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Waste products aftermarket: part I

Thanks to stimulus funds, companies have been trying to get R&D money up front to make renewable energy an economic reality.  One of the most popular is bio-diesel, a versatile fuel that can be made from almost anything organic.  Usually the input for production of bio-diesel would be some kind of crop, but the one that has caught my eye is producing bio-diesel from chicken fat.

[Bolingbrook, Ill.-based Elevance Renewable Sciences]… plans to use plant oils and poultry fat as building blocks to replace petroleum-based chemicals used to make myriad products, including jet fuel, lubricants, adhesives and even cosmetics and candles.

Although chicken fat is an organic compound, and doesn’t yield as much environmental damage as other noxious chemicals, industrial waste treatment for chicken production usually yields about 1,640 pounds of chicken fat per day, nearly a ton. Whether converting it to Diesel is viable, there are already many how-to’s and products online in which you can convert your grease fat into diesel yourself.

What makes chicken fat bio-diesel such a great idea is not only does it lessen the impact of environmental damage from overloading the environment’s sink function, (amount of pollution the environment can handle before irreparable damage) but it also adds value to something that was not only worthless, but harmful.

If Elevance Renewable Sciences is successful in being able to make bio-diesel from chicken fat an economic reality, it could open doors to what auto-markets are already familiar with: an after-market.  Could an aftermarket for industrial waste products be a new profitable area that could effectively reduce the amount of environmental pollution made, add value to something otherwise harmful but also reap profits for entrepreneurs who have effectively used technology to create a cost-effective business model?  Given how much industrial waste there is, imagine how much all of that waste could be worth.  The next time you decide to throw away your chicken fat you could be throwing away slimy, dirty, smelly gold!