TRANSFORMING AUTOMOTIVE BATTERIES WITH RECYCLED ALUMINIUM
By Isabelle Havasy
Canadian startup AlumaPower is pioneering an innovative approach to energy generation by converting junkyard scrap metal into high-density aluminum air batteries. These batteries, proposed as alternatives to traditional fuel and hydrogen vehicles, utilize crushed automobiles and other discarded metals as clean fuel sources. The company, based in Sarnia, Ontario, aims to repurpose aluminum waste into solid fuel discs, functioning as anodes in their battery technology.
AlumaPower’s method involves a Galvanic Generator, where the fuel discs spin to generate power, using aluminum, a material abundantly available on Earth. Unlike rechargeable batteries, these aluminum discs are one-time-use, offering advantages in transportation, storage, and disposal.
Originally developed in the 1960s for aerospace and defence, aluminum air batteries faced challenges like uncontrollable activation and the need for pure aluminum. AlumaPower’s Chief Technology Officer, Geoff Sheerin, overcame these issues by using spinning discs, which allow for lower-grade aluminum and controlled chemical reactions.
The companie’s innovation offers a cost-effective alternative to gasoline, with projected costs significantly lower than current fuel prices. Their first product, a mobile power generator, is set to launch in 2025, targeting EV fleet charging. The company envisions these batteries as range extenders for passenger cars, requiring maintenance similar to an oil change.
AlumaPower’s approach is not only economical but also environmentally friendly, offering a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fuels. The startup is currently raising funds to further develop this technology, with significant interest from investors and potential applications in various transportation sectors, including maritime and aviation. Their strategy promotes a sustainable, circular lifecycle, leveraging abundant junkyard aluminum and potentially revolutionizing energy generation and consumption.