AETC KICKSTARTS COMMERCIAL TRUCKLOAD SHIPMENTS OF AMERICAN BATTERY-READY GRAPHITES
American Energy Technologies Co. (AETC) is pleased to announce that it has commenced regular commercial shipments of battery-ready graphite and graphite-containing formulated products from its newly operating plant located in Arlington Heights, IL. More than ten product qualification projects have led to successful commercialization outcomes with repeated product deliveries in recent months. Among them, in June 2021, AETC shipped its first truckload quantity of battery-ready graphites in assortment of grades, packaged in 61-gallon drums. This is an important moment for the United States’ graphite supply chain, demonstrating commercialized success in which graphite is processed and made battery-ready domestically by AETC, and then sent to other American companies to be produced into batteries.
The commercialization of the new products is part of AETC’s long-standing business strategy of supporting the American supply chain of industrial graphite and carbon materials for advanced battery applications. In making these grades of graphite, AETC utilizes domestic raw materials of natural and synthetic graphite origin, performs manufacturing in its Illinois-based plant, and supplies products to its expanding customer base in the US and abroad. While AETC is still a small-scale supplier to the battery industry, these recent shipments and tangible product sales have allowed AETC to become a member of the emerging domestic supply chain for industrial graphite and carbon.
Most importantly, all production processes are done in an environmentally responsible manner. Any off-gas is neutralized and converted into benign solid by-product, which later finds its use in recycled product technologies. The main product -- advanced graphite -- goes on to support a variety of applications within the specialty battery markets. These include the emerging needs of the US and allied countries’ battery industries for the US military and the emerging electric vehicle market in the US.
Andrew Hartmann, Lead Engineer of Industrial Projects at AETC, reflects on the production and finalization of AETC’s first truckload shipment out of its new plant:
“Running the production full-time was exciting. It was eye-opening to see the process from start to finish. This involved the implementation of innovative synthesis technology and extensive characterization of the raw material to performing QC/QA in accordance with ISO 9001 program standards, to packaging and ultimately loading the finished grades onto the truck. Participating in the commissioning was also rewarding, which involved working with the process automation programmers and seeing how the equipment was going to operate after only working with numbers and equipment names for a while.
Not only was I running the production in the capacity of a control room operator, but I was also able to scale up something developed in-house. This required creating flowsheets, identifying and sourcing the equipment, and working night shifts when necessary. In addition to being an engineer, I had to take on the role of a plant operator. Being an engineer gave me the advantage of understanding the process that was required for startup. I had the experience to handle any issues that arose and gauge how well the process was going.
I took charge of finishing this production for a client with a focus on premium product quality and making sure the system was running as intended. I know it is just the beginning of a long path forward for AETC, and it was a very special, good and satisfying feeling to see the product through to the end and seeing it ship.”
AETC proudly continues to develop its proprietary and versatile technologies which make the advanced batteries run longer and deliver higher power. The successful shipment of our first truckload to a paying customer also marks a historic milestone for AETC: the company is already an established Research & Development, Technology Development and Engineering Services Provider to the advanced graphite & carbon and battery industries, but this represents growth into the manufacturing sector. We are very pleased that we became an advanced battery-ready graphite producer and an approved battery industry supplier here and now, today, not tomorrow. While AETC is prepared for the long road ahead, we are particularly happy to be part of the emerging battery supply chain in the United States. The aforementioned development shows that American material can now be successfully produced and sold, and can compete with international competitors.
This is a historic moment for AETC and the American graphite market, and we at AETC look forward to more moments like this one as we invite more companies to become our vendors, and, in the capacity of Tier II suppliers, become part of the emerging North American battery supply chain.