28. June 2021 | 12:07 CET
Nel ASA, Mineworx Technologies, Volkswagen - The next stage ignited
Without question, electric cars are the big winners of the mobility revolution. If Germany wants to meet the targets of the Paris climate agreement, CO2 emissions are to fall by at least 50% by 2030. This seals the slow farewell to combustion engines. But now, new problems are emerging concerning electromobility. In addition to the scarcity of the required raw materials, the issue of recycling the batteries and recovering the raw materials is coming up. Here, a market worth billions opens up with huge potential for the respective companies.
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ISIN: NEL ASA NK-_20 | NO0010081235 , MINEWORX TECHNOLOGIES LTD | CA6034652041 , VOLKSWAGEN AG VZO O.N. | DE0007664039
What happens to the batteries?
Currently, a battery for an electric car lasts a maximum of 15 years. What will happen to the batteries after that time has not yet been regulated, neither technically nor politically. Experts are therefore already urging the automotive industry to enter the circular economy. Recycling companies are already developing processes in which the battery is mechanically shredded and then broken down into its raw material components. That saves a lot of energy and allows very high recovery rates.
Environmentally friendly recycling as a trademark
Much closer to home, however, is a more acute problem. The switch from internal combustion engines to electric cars means that millions of diesel units will have to be processed and will flow into recycling plants. The only current commercial method for recovering palladium and platinum from catalytic converters is smelting. However, diesel oxidation catalysts and diesel particulate filters are difficult to process. Most smelters and refiners now refuse to accept diesel catalyst feedstocks because they cause inefficient processing - currently, only 30% of platinum and palladium is recovered in catalytic converters - and are also extremely hazardous to the environment.
Mineworx Technologies has managed to give a green coat of paint to a critical sector from an environmental perspective and has also managed to increase platinum and palladium recovery rates to over 90%. Using patented extraction technology, Mineworx's process does not melt down catalysts but instead grinds relevant parts and processes them further using chemical methods. The Canadian Company is thus tapping into a market with well over 100 million catalysts.
Pilot plant about to start up
Through the fully planned and fully financed pilot plant, which is to be commissioned in the third quarter of 2021 and run at full capacity by the beginning of 2022, the Canadians expect sales of at least CAD 100 million per year with a gross margin of 20%. In addition, the Company's strategy includes building several plants in North America. North America alone accounts for 35% of the global market for diesel engines.
To further advance its vision, Mineworx Technologies has formed a joint venture company with Davis Recycling, a leading catalyst recycler on the East Coast of the US with whom it has successfully collaborated for years in the areas of research and testing. Mineworx USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary, and Davis Recycling announced last week that they have formed PGM Renewal LLC. Mineworx will hold a 55% stake and contribute its technologies and processes, while the US partner will be responsible for supply chain management and material preparation for the diesel catalysts.
Currently, the market value of Mineworx Technologies, which in addition to its core business also operates a wollastonite mine and an iron ore mine in Spain, is only CAD 20 million. Considering that 27 million catalysts per year will be available as scrap in the near future, one can calculate the potential! More than interesting in the long run.
The automaker Volkswagen AG will also provide for more catalytic converter scrap in the next few years. According to a report in the "Münchner Merkur," the complete switch to electric cars is to take place between 2033 and 2035, at least in Europe. In other regions of the world, however, the combustion engine will continue to be sold. According to management, the phase-out will take a little longer in the USA and China and longer in South America and Africa.
Consolidation on the verge of completion?
Fundamentally supported, the share of the Norwegian hydrogen specialist Nel ASA is stalking towards a buy signal. Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser, for example, announced the signing of a framework agreement with Howden, a leading manufacturer of gas handling solutions, for the supply of hydrogen compressors for Nel's electrolyzers. The goal of the collaboration is to develop cost-effective hydrogen compressor systems for Nel's electrolyzers. Nel aims to cap the cost of producing green hydrogen at USD 1.50/kg. Chart-wise, Nel shares are about to complete their bottoming phase. A bullish sign would be a sustained break of the resistance at NOK 18.75. The next target would then be the NOK 20 mark.