Geballte Faust auf türkisblauem Hintergrund
Power storage
without lithium
Power
storage
without
lithium

Why we need Storage alternatives to lithium

The majority of homeowners rely on lithium storage to use their self-produced solar energy around the clock – due to a lack of alternatives. However, the life cycle of a lithium battery shows that this type of storage is to be questioned in ecological and humanitarian terms. Thanks to vanadium redox flow technology, we are the first to offer a sustainable and powerful alternative. It is finally time to take a new path

A detriment to man and nature: the extraction of lithium.

The most common type of lithium battery consists mainly of five raw materials: Lithium, nickel, manganese, cobalt and graphite. Above all the extraction of lithium and cobalt entails massive ecological and humanitarian problems, as our following photo story shows. With vanadium redox flow storage technology, we are thus consciously opting for an ecological alternative. Vanadium is a by-product of iron production.
The melting residue left over in the production of iron contains up to 25 percent vanadium. The raw material for the battery is thus extracted during the production of one of the most important and widely used materials in the world. Hence vanadium can be produced without additional mining operations, without overexploiting nature and with no negative consequences for our ecosystem. Because we believe it iis finally time to take a new path.

Lithium mining threatens ecosystems

70% of the world’s lithium deposits are located in the Andes region of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, one of the continent’s most arid regions. It is also home to the largest salt lakes on earth, one of the most breathtaking miracles of nature. Among them is the Salar de Uyuni, whose dimensions extend so far that it can be seen from the moon.

The complex and resource-intensive mining not only threatens the original landscape, but also the ecosystems in the surrounding regions

Lithium-Gewinnung in Chile
Salzsee in Südamerika

Drastic water shortage

Below the thick surfaces of the salt lakes the groundwater contains dissolved lithium. This so-called lithium brine is pumped into large evaporation tanks on the surface and additionally enriched with fresh water. After most of the water has evaporated due to solar radiation, a green liquid with a high lithium content remains. This process causes the groundwater level to fall continuously.

As there is very little rain in this region, the groundwater reserves cannot recover from it. The consequence is a drastic shortage of water, which massively threatens the region’s biodiversity.

Threat to the Andean flamingo

The increasing scarcity of water due to lithium extraction, for example, is causing the population of the rare Andean flamingo to decrease steadily. The Andean flamingo feeds mainly on small reddish saltwater crabs, to which it owes its pink colour. However, lithium mining causes a change in the mineral content of the region’s saline waters. As a result, the saltwater crabs increasingly lose their red colour – and the Andean flamingo its characteristic pink plumage.

White flamingos are often rejected from their colony and cannot reproduce. The consequences: Over the past 15 years, the Andean flamingo population has shrunk by 30 percent.

Andenflamingo in Salzwüste
Mine in Afrika

Inhumane working conditions

Working conditions in Africa’s Congo continue to fall repeatedly into international disrepute. Congo is the world’s largest producer of cobalt, which is needed for the production of most lithium batteries. More than 100,000 workers, most of them barefoot and lightly dressed, climb into often unsecured underground passages. Sometimes up to 50 meters deep, the workers squeeze their way through the narrow, labyrinth-like shafts, while they support themselves with their arms and legs in order to find a grip in the often steeply slanted corridors.

After the precious cobalt has been knocked out of the rock and packed in sacks, it is heaved up to the surface through the steep passages – by hand and without ladders. The workers are particularly threatened in the rainy season, as the probability increases that the unsecured passages loosen and collapse.

The aggravated problem: lithium recycling in comparison.

Since lithium is a base metal, the process to separate it from other materials and make it reusable is time-consuming and really complex. For manufacturers of lithium batteries, this process is often so uneconomical that recycling is not an option.

As a result, the demand for lithium mining remains unchecked, despite the ecological disadvantages associated with it.

Recycling-Kreislauf von Lithium

Battery melting

The lithium battery cells are melted down at high temperatures in a blast furnace, requiring lots of energy.

Raw material separation

During the blast furnace process, the raw materials cobalt and manganese can be removed at different melting points.

Lithium separation

At the end of the melting process, a slag consisting of lithium, iron and aluminium remains. Lithium can be removed from this slag in a very complex and costly custom procedure.

Use for concrete industry

The custom procedure for removing lithium from the slag is often unprofitable. The iron-containing lithium slag is therefore removed from the recycling cycle and used in the concrete industry instead.

The low recycling rates of lithium show us that it is time to take a new path. That is why we consciously rely on sustainable vanadium redox flow technology.

In contrast to lithium, vanadium can be recycled at low energy and cost levels and can thus be reused in the manufacture of future storage systems.

Reycling-Kreislauf von Vanadium

Electrolyte heating

The vanadium dissolved in the electrolyte liquid is heated to only 70 degrees in a low-energy process. As a result, the dissolved vanadium returns to its solid state and settles at the bottom of the electrolyte container.

Vanadium filtering

After the solidified vanadium has settled at the bottom of the electrolyte container, it can be filtered out of the liquid.

Rising prices due to resource scarcity

The unresolved problem of lithium-ion recycling means that the recycling rate of lithium-ion batteries in the EU is only 5 percent. This means that too few recycled raw materials flow back into battery production. Demand must therefore be met by exploiting further lithium reserves – which will largely not be recycled time and again.

If the recycling problem is not solved, this cycle of continued waste will lead to a shortage of lithium in the medium term. The shortage is being fueled by increasing demand from the automotive industry required to push ahead with the expansion of electromobility.

The resulting increase in price is already apparent today: The price of lithium, for example, has more than tripled since 2015: another reason why we are deliberately breaking new ground with vanadium redox flow storage technology. Due to the simple recycling process, the “old” vanadium can be completely removed and used to produce new batteries. This sustainable exploitation of resources allows to counteract long-term shortages and associated price hikes.

Why VoltStorage Home Battery?

Environmental protection with battery

Rising temperatures around the globe represent one of the greatest challenges of our time. We face up to this challenge and enable you to improve your CO2 balance by using our battery. Because with VoltStorage you can prevent the release of up to 800 kg CO2 per year.
More about environmental protection

Transparent all-in-one service

With VoltStorage you can sit back and relax. We make sure that your storage system is compatible with your house and professionally installed – at a low, all-inclusive price. With the VoltStorage App you can also view the most important storage data.
Our all-in-one service

More energy independence

Use more if the self-generated solar power at home and thus save on your electricity bill – with our power storage device you and your family gain more independence from the energy market and rising electricity prices.
How to become more independent

Storing power - safer than ever

Conventional lithium- or lead-based power storage systems cannot guarantee full operational safety. Thanks to our vanadium redox flow storage technology, you can rely on the only storage system that is 100% non-flammable.
This is why VoltStorage is so safe

Most durable storage technology

Thanks to our patented production technology, we deliver the long proven vanadium redox flow storage technology to private homes for the first time – and enable you to store and access your self-produced solar power 24/7 relying on the most durable storage technology available.
How power gets stored

VoltStorage’s lithium alternative

Store self-produced solar power – and do so ecologically and sustainably without the use of lithium. With VoltStorage’s home battery systems you can rely on one of the most environmentally friendly storage systems. Order the ecological storage alternative now and have it ready for installation from January 2019 onwards.

6,999
incl. VAT, installation & battery inverter
VoltStorage Stromspeicher
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