Trio teams up on next-gen flow battery tech for zero-emission ships

Canada’s VanadiumCorp Resource Inc. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for a trilateral partnership with Conoship International Projects BV from the Netherlands and Vega Reederei and Partners GmbH from Germany. The partnership targets zero-emission shipping markets with next-generation redox flow batteries.

As informed, the three partners plan to commercially develop next-generation vanadium redox flow-battery technology (VRFB battery) and high-energy-density electrolyte technologies for marine propulsion applications.

The MOU outlines a trilateral partnership to be incorporated as a special purpose vehicle company (SPV). The SPV will combine the shipping industry expertise of Conoship and Vega with technical innovations from VanadiumCorp.

Specifically, the SPV will develop a next-generation redox flow-battery stack based on a high-energy-density vanadium electrolyte that is specifically formulated for marine propulsion applications.

VanadiumCorp will contribute new flow-battery designs, a high-energy-density electrolyte formulation, manage research and development, and provide its network of manufacturing partners.

What is more, Conoship will provide marine engineering designs to integrate the more compact redox flow-battery into the propulsion systems of marine vessels and ships.

In addition, Vega will arrange project financing, contribute fleet operations expertise, and conduct field testing of the marine battery prototype.

“Greenhouse gas reduction is exceptionally challenging for the shipping industry. The industry’s 2050 climate goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 levels can only be achieved with the accelerated construction of zero-emission ships and novel solutions,” Adriaan Bakker, CEO of VanadiumCorp, commented.

VanadiumCorp anticipates that the SPV project will commence shortly and definitive agreements to be reached within Q1 2021.

The SPV aims to achieve significant environmental and economic benefits. The new battery technology seeks the decarbonization of shipping routes and in-port ship movements.

The next generation VRFB battery design and the new high energy electrolyte solves the challenge of high-energy-density not met by conventional VRFBs. Solving the energy-density challenge allows the SPV designs to scale to large capacities, deliver energy without waste heat, and vastly extend energy storage beyond lithium-ion’s typical 4-8 hour operating time, according to VanadiumCorp.