Keynote Presentations

A Sober Look at the Energy Transition

Robert Bryce, Author, Film Producer and Host of the Power Hungry Podcast
Monday, April 24 - 9:05 a.m. - 9:50 a.m. | Kentucky Ballroom

Politicians, climate activists, and media outlets frequently tout the “energy transition” as an inevitability, and that one day soon, the world will not need to use any hydrocarbons. In this talk, author, podcaster, and film producer Robert Bryce will provide a sober analysis of what is actually happening in the U.S. and around the world. He will explore the many barriers to a rapid transition away from coal, oil, and natural gas, and explain why, if the countries of the world are serious about decarbonization, they will have to embrace N2N, natural gas to nuclear.

Long Term Outlook for Low Voltage Automotive Batteries

James Martin, Associate Director, Consulting, S&P Global
Monday, April 24 - 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. | Kentucky Ballroom

As the automotive industry continues to develop new formulations and configurations for high voltage batteries, what is to become of the low voltage battery that has powered the industry for decades?  S&P Global Mobility applies industry leading forecasting data and industry intelligence to project the continued need for low voltage batteries for use in Electric Vehicles as well as continued use in Internal Combustion Engine powered vehicles as they continue to be produced to support global market demand.  James will also provide insight into the global need for low voltage batteries to support serviceability of vehicles in operation for decades to come.

Re-Imagining the World of Work - Strategies for Adjusting to a New Normal

Claudia St. John, Founder and President, Affinity HR Group Inc.
Tuesday, April 25 - 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. | Kentucky Ballroom

Persistently low unemployment levels. The Great Resignation. Silent quitting. Hybrid workplaces. Compensation increases. Unionization. Retiring baby boomers and new Gen Z workers. The U.S. workforce is going through a dramatic transformation that most economists predict will last through the decade. Hear from Claudia St. John, President of Affinity HR Group, on the reasons behind these challenges and what employers can do to successfully adjust to the “new normal.”

General Sessions

How Industrial Batteries Enable Automation

Andy Fisher
Tuesday, April 25 - 9:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. | Kentucky Ballroom

After spending 25+ years leading PepsiCo's Frito-Lay North American Warehouse Operations and Engineering teams, Andy will share his foundational principles for automation.  He will also share his successes and failures, and how batteries figured into both experiences.  Andy will conclude with his perspective on the future of power for automation.

Time for Lead to Re-Energize its Resilience - The Changing North American Landscape for Battery Metal Lead and its Global 'Green' Role

Neil Hawkes, Principal Analyst, Base Metals – Lead, CRU
Tuesday, April 25 - 10:50 a.m. - 11:25 a.m. | Kentucky Ballroom

Metal prices, including lead, have been pushed and pulled around by global seismic events in recent years, notably the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, but also by investor attitudes to each metal’s role in the global decarbonisation transition underway.

One important thread of this transition is vehicle electrification amid a wider energy storage move away from fossil fuels towards renewable power. The resilience of the lead-based battery sector, under threat from the rise of lithium-based batteries; is the key factor that will determine the lead price path in the years ahead. Battery metal lead is not only defending its dominant presence across diverse applications, but also looking to find growth opportunities ahead. Through this extended evolution, CRU believes that lead is set to play a positive role in a ‘greener’, more sustainable world. The only uncertainty is how big or small that role will prove to be. And how much currently ‘lukewarm’ investor interest might ‘warm up’ towards lead if it can be seen as part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

Mindful of the audience at this conference, this presentation will also look at changes in the North American lead market that have seen it move deeper into deficit to become a magnet attracting more excess metal from elsewhere. This region’s supply shortfall has been a key dynamic in the polarisation of market imbalances around the world, with Asia in surplus and Europe swinging in between these two extremes.

Flow Batteries Working Group: An Overview of the Technology, Its Applications and the State of the Industry in the U.S. 

Scott Childers, Vice President, Essential Power – Stryten Energy
Tuesday, April 25 - 11:25 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Kentucky Ballroom

The United States is at an important inflection point with respect to the growing nationwide demand for energy.   Today, more than 20% of the electricity generation in the U.S. comes from renewables, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that will increase to 44% by 2050, signaling the need for long-duration energy storage (LDES) to be deployed alongside renewable installations. Flow batteries for LDES have garnered attention in recent years because of their unique ability to meet these requirements.  Vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) in particular have moved forefront of R&D efforts. In this session, we will introduce the technology behind flow batteries and where the technology best fits in the market, as well as the current and possible future state of the industry in the United States.

From Irrelevant to Irrefutable: Being a Voice for an Industry that Can't Be Ignored 

Joel Brady - Director, Marketing Communications, East Penn Manufacturing, Co. & Melissa Floyd - Vice President, Communications, Digital Marketing, Stryten Energy
Tuesday, April 25 - 1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Kentucky Ballroom

Seven years ago, the lead battery industry was on the verge of irrelevance. How ALBCI's Essential Energy Everyday campaign turned things around, proving the essentiality of lead batteries and creating a model for other battery technologies to follow.

North America Industrial Lead Battery Trends and Forecast

Nick Starita, President of the Energy Solutions Division, Hollingsworth & Vose
Tuesday, April 25 - 1:30 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. | Kentucky Ballroom

The industrial battery market continues to evolve based on the changing needs of its diversified and demanding customer base.  In this presentation, Nick will present BCI-member sales data and 3-year forecast, as well as information gathered from industry experts, to analyze both the North America Stationary and Motive Power battery markets.  We will examine the trends and market drivers for each of the segments, key applications and products to draw conclusions about the future business outlook for our industry.

Solutions to Battery Fires in our Waste & Recycling Streams

Ryan Fogelman, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Fire Rover
Tuesday, April 25 - 2:10 p.m. - 2:55 p.m. | Kentucky Ballroom

Ryan has been tracking and consolidating the reported fires at our waste and recycling facilities since 2016. During this session Ryan will be taking a deep dive into the fire incidents within the waste and recycling industry faces, how it has changed historically and how we compare to other nations around the globe. Additionally, Ryan will discuss the consequences of these problems that include direct costs of incidents, injuries to employees and firefighters, operational downtime, and increased insurance rates with decreased options for our operators.  Finally, Ryan will discuss the short and long terms solutions to these problems that include education, operational best practices and their Award Winning Fire Rover early technology/targeted deluge solutions. 

North American Transportation Market Update and Forecast 

Rebecca Conway, Executive Director of Marketing and Technical Services, Clarios
Tuesday, April 25 - 3:00 p.m. - 3:40 p.m. | Kentucky Ballroom

Get the latest update on the transportation market including market and segment sizes, growth trends and changes in technology.

Mining for Lead in a Post-Mining Age for Lead Supply 

Christopher Galbraith, Zinc and Lead Market Research, Teck Metals
Tuesday, April 25 - 3:45 p.m. - 4:25 p.m. | Kentucky Ballroom

With lead's high recyclability, the lion's share of lead supply now comes from spent batteries. But as an industry that isn’t done expanding, mined lead still has a place in the market. How has lead mining changed over a generation? How will it look over the next generation?

BCI Technology & Innovation Summit

Flow Battery Technologies:  With or Without Metal as Active Species in the Electrolyte

Brian Berland, Senior Director, VRFB Products, Stryten Energy, Ben Kaun, President, CMBlu Energy, Matthew Walz, VP Business Development, Invinity Energy Systems, Russ Weed (moderator), President, CleanTech Strategies
Tuesday, April 25 - 1:30 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. | Marriott 3-4

At an introductory level, flow batteries store energy in a liquid, rather than in a solid like lead and lithium-ion batteries. At a more in-depth level, there are differences in the "active species" used by flow batteries. "Active species" are the molecules which are electrochemically manipulated to add and subtract electrons while dissolved in the liquid electrolyte. An important difference in "active species" is whether they employ a metal such as vanadium, iron, or zinc, or instead a carbon-based molecule. There can be significant variations in performance, availability, cost, emissions in production, and recycling of metal versus non-metal "active species." This session will explore such differences between Vanadium Redox Flow batteries and Organic SolidFlow batteries through three presentations by members of BCI's Flow Battery Industry Group.

Poster Research Showcase Awardee Presentations

Tuesday, April 25 - 2:15 p.m. - 2:55 p.m. | Marriott 3-4

Attend this session to hear more about our first annual poster research showcase winner and their work. They will present their poster research and findings including sharing their cutting-edge science and technology work across this critical industry.

Supplier Showcase – Separator and Additives Innovation and Advances

Tuesday, April 25 - 3:00 p.m. - 3:40 p.m. | Marriott 3-4

Three major battery component manufacturers and experienced industry partners will present and lead an engaging and informative quick hit sessions on the most critical topics and innovations related to battery separator and additives materials and applications. Our presenting partners will include Daramic, Hollingsworth & Vose, and Hammond Group, Inc. 

Perspectives on our Industry from Venture Start Ups to Industry Leadership

Mike Judd, Stryten Energy, John Barton, Gridtential Energy, Tim Ellis (Moderator)
Tuesday, April 25 - 3:45 p.m. - 4:25 p.m. | Marriott 3-4

Join Mike Judd, Stryten Energy and John Barton, Gridtential Energy on this session for an open discussion around different projective perspectives from our industry.

Power Electronics Integration with Batteries

Michael Starke, Electrical Engineering System Integrator, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Wednesday, April 26 - 9:00 a.m. - 9:40 a.m. | Marriott 3-4

In this session, power electronic system integration with batteries will be explored. This includes an examination of the topologies, communication systems and controls used to tie energy storage to the electric grid. New concepts and systems approaches will be explored.

Design of Superior Expander Molecules for Advanced Lead Batteries

Cora Lind-Kovacs, Professor and Associate Chair, The University of Toledo
Wednesday, April 26 - 9:40 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. | Marriott 1-2

The performance of the negative electrode in lead batteries depends strongly on the incorporation of additives in the paste, which typically include carbon, barium sulfate and lignosulfonates (LS) like Vanisperse A (Van A). These additives are also referred to as expanders as they help preserve the porous structure of the electrode, which is important for longterm cyclability. In addition, Van A supports rapid discharge at much faster rates than can be obtained in the absence of expanders. However, it also significantly decreases charge rates, which is detrimental for potential applications like grid storage or hybrid vehicles.

The effect of Van A on charge and discharge rates must be related to its interactions with the various lead species involved in the electrochemical cycle, which include the Pb electrode surface, Pb2+ions in solution, and PbSO4 precipitates. The nature and strength of these interactions is not known, and the large number of functional groups present in LS molecules makes detailed studies challenging. We set out to explore model expander molecules (MEMs) that contain certain structural motifs found in Van A, and studied their effects on discharge and charge rates during electrochemical cycling. MEMs explored include commercially available materials as well as compounds synthesized to mimic specific portions of LS molecules. Our results have allowed us to identify functional groups that display detrimental effects during both discharge and charge, molecules that show similar behavior to Van A, and also materials that improve both discharge and charge rates compared to cells without expander additives. These materials can now serve as leads to prepare related MEMs, which will allow detailed studies of molecular structure/property relationships at the atomic level.

Storage Innovations 2030

Patrick Balducci, Manager, Power Systems and Markets Research Group, Argonne National Laboratory
Wednesday, April 26 - 9:40 a.m. - 10:20 a.m. | Marriott 3-4

Mr. Balducci will present the results of the Storage Innovations 2030 Research and Development (R&D) Framework study. This study resulted in the development of a framework and tool that can be used to inform potential portfolios of DOE investments within the Energy Storage Grand Challenge (ESGC). The overarching objectives of the project were to 1) characterize the suitability of different technologies for different use cases defined in the ESGC Roadmap, and 2) identify potential R&D areas for future investment that hold promise for meeting the 5 cents/kWh-cycle cost goal also outlined in the ESGC Roadmap. The research team has engaged with industry to identify literature, conduct extensive interviews, obtain input using two survey instruments and use additional data backing the input provided through the survey process to achieve the aforementioned objectives. The framework was successfully tested on the lead-acid and Li-ion battery industries and was later used to identify high impact R&D innovation areas in the supercapacitor, flow battery, PSH, compressed air energy storage, zinc battery, sodium-ion battery, thermal and hydrogen industries.

LBSRP: A Model for Collaboration between the Lead Battery Industry and DOE National Labs

Tim Fister, Materials Scientist, Chemical Science and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory
Wednesday, April 26 - 10:40 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. | Marriott 1-2

Founded in 2018, the Lead Battery Science Research Program (LBSRP) unites much of the US lead battery supply chain with facilities and expertise unique to the Department of Energy (DOE) national lab system. Led by the major US battery manufacturers, LBSRP has revolutionized the ability to connect the reactions taking place within a battery, providing new information on processes that take place during formation, cycling, and near the end-of-life in electrodes ranging from Plante cell surfaces to industrial plates. The first three years of LBSRP focused on formation variables and additives associated with the negative electrodes and their effect on cyclability in PSOC and deep cycle regimes as well as the influence of PbSO4 particle size on dynamic and overall charge acceptance. More recently, LBSRP has transitioned to variables driving the rich range of lead oxides that can exist within the positive electrode, where both the morphology and the crystal structure itself can vary during formation and cycling, and ultimately define the lifetime of the battery. Many of the early cell prototypes were developed with industrial partners, but in 2023 Argonne will debut a new lab that will enable in-house lead electrode pasting and cell manufacture, and dramatically scale up testing of lead battery cells. Moreover, the success and visibility of LBSRP within the DOE has led to new funding opportunities, particularly in emerging areas of stationary storage. With this in mind, I will outline several possible areas where industry and national labs can work together to expand the reach of lead batteries to long duration energy storage.

Opportunities for Storing Energy One Electron at a Time

George Brilmyer, President, Batt-Tek Consulting, LLC
Wednesday, April 26 - 10:40 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. | Marriott 3-4

The need for Energy Storage Systems is growing exponentially.  With the expanding adoption of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, the need for energy storage is obvious. Energy storage technologies such as Compressed Air, Pumped Hydro, Gravity Energy may be feasible, but all such technologies tend to be geographically limited. Batteries are one obvious choice, but, which battery technology will meet all the requirements such as performance, cost and recycling.  This presentation will address the pros and cons of all available Energy Storage System options (battery and non-battery) and as well as sort through all the conflicting estimates of the size of the expanding ESS market.

How American Electric Power Meets the Needs of New and Existing Customers

Isaac Rhoades, Manager, American Electric Power
Wednesday, April 26 - 11:20 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Marriott 3-4

Today’s electric customers are more sophisticated than they used to be. It used to be that all customers wanted was the lowest cost solution. Customers may have things that they want but that’s not always lowest cost. They compare their value propositions with what they want such as less maintenance, resiliency, or green energy. Isaac will present on how American Electric Power (AEP) has excelled at continuously meeting those needs to attract and grow businesses for large and small power users. We will cover how AEP’s organization structure ensures elite customer service and the process involved in working with both new and existing customers.

Barite Nucleation and Growth from Fundamental Perspective

Andrew Stack, Senior R&D Staff Member and Group Leader, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Wednesday, April 26 - 11:20 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Marriott 1-2

Barite (BaSO4) is a useful model minerals to understand reaction kinetics, but are also directly relevant to lead-acid battery chemistry in part due to its use, but also since it is isostructural with anglesite (PbSO4).  Here I will review my and other’s on what we know about the nucleation and growth of the mineral barite, with particular emphasis on rate-limiting atomic-scale reactions and influence of impurities on reaction rates.  This will include work performed through atomic-scale simulation as well a in situ observations using atomic force microscopy of rates of crystal growth, and X-ray scattering experiments to observe nucleation rates and atomic-scale structure.

* The BCI Technology & Innovation Summit features technical programming throughout the Convention led by experts in their fields. Registered attendees will be able to attend the Summit as part of their registration package.