OT/MISC US-funded breakthrough battery tech just simply handed over to China

Countrybumpkin

Veteran Member
When US national laboratories develop a new technology, Uncle Sam is supposed to ensure it is commercialized in America. But that's not what happened with what's said to be a breakthrough battery design. …
A vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) design created at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has wound up in the hands of a Chinese company, which has since gone on to become the largest manufacturer of VRFBs in the world. The US, which owns the patent and invested $15 million of taxpayer dollars into its development, reportedly has no domestic production site for the novel VRFBs.
That's not to say that VRFBs aren't manufactured in the US – some companies do make them – but the PNNL battery design is different.
Over the course of six years, PNNL scientists developed a special mix of acid and electrolytes that they claim is twice as powerful as other vanadium-based batteries, doesn't degrade like other batteries, and can be infinitely discharged and recharged for as long as 30 years. The refrigerator-sized batteries could be installed in homes hooked up to solar panels and reduce demand on the power grid.
Research on PNNL's VRFB began in 2006, and in 2012 the project's lead scientist, Gary Yang, applied for a license to manufacture and sell the design. The license was granted, leading to the formation of UniEnergy Technologies, which branded the battery ReFlex.

According to NPR, who spoke to Yang for an investigation, UniEnergy was unable to find any US investors. He said they were dissuaded due to the long potential lead times on returns. Yang turned to China, finding a ready investor in a company called Dalian Rongke Power Co, Ltd, located in Dalian, a city on a peninsula in the Yellow Sea between Beijing and South Korea.

By 2017, Yang had granted Rongke a sublicense to manufacture the PNNL VRFBs in China despite his original license specifying that a certain number of batteries had to be sold in the US, which had to be "substantially manufactured" domestically as well, NPR said.
In his interview with NPR, Yang acknowledged he didn't do that, selling few batteries in the US, all of which were made in China. The license was later transferred to a company based in the Netherlands called Vanadis Power that said it plans to manufacture the ReFlex batteries in China and later Germany, with potential future expansion into America.
United States regulations make clear that the transfer of a US government license requires approval from Uncle Sam after officials verify manufacturing isn't moving overseas, and it's here that NPR alleges the Dept of Energy made its biggest mistake: after a couple of emails over the course of an hour and a half, a US government employee transferred the license from UniEnergy to Vanadis.
"Whether the manager or anyone else at the lab or Department of Energy thought to check during that hour and a half or thereafter whether Vanadis Power was an American company, or whether it intended to manufacture in the US, is unclear," NPR reported.
The DoE declined to speak comment on the investigation, although a letter the news organization sent to the department with a timeline of events involving Rongke appears to have led to the license being terminated.
"If DoE determines that a contractor who owns a DoE-funded patent or downstream licensee is in violation of its US manufacturing obligations, DoE will explore all legal remedies," the department told NPR.
It's unclear if the DoE's withdrawal of Rongke's license will cause it to stop building the batteries, nor is the status of Vanadis' license clear. The Register has reached out to the government department for clarification.
At this stage, it appears withdrawing the license may have little effect: a blog post by German power company RWE in May said China is readying an 800 MWh lithium-free battery farm in Dalian that uses VRFBs, which is being built by Rongke and another Vanadis partner called Bolong New Materials. Vanadis' website describes Bolong as the exclusive producer of the mixed-acid electrolyte used in ReFlex batteries.
Vanadis continues to assert on its website that it holds exclusive rights to sell the ReFlex battery "in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East." Less clear is whether it has the rights to build and sell VRFBs in Asia, or if the US' withdrawal of a license allowing such will change anything. ®

US-funded breakthrough battery tech just simply handed over to China (msn.com)
 

West

Senior
Our own government also mandates this. By putting huge (like domestic tariffs) regulation mandates and mandated liabilities on our manufacturers and employers in the forms of mandated payroll liabilities and mandated insurances.

It's all by DESIGN!

We can't manufacture anything cheaper than China, except fiat dollars/digits and even then that makes us beholding to the banksters.
 

NoDandy

Has No Life - Lives on TB
This the price we pay for tolerating a president and members of Congress that are sold out to CCP !

In short, we tolerate traitors !

:ld: :hmm::hmm::hmm::hmm::mad::mad::mad::mad:
 

West

Senior
Corporatism at work.
We only have corporations becuse of mandated liabilities and general liability. Even our own federal and state governments are incorporated. The lawyers and courts have failed us. As citizens we are all numbers with in the corporation.

As you know.

I just mentioned that cause the newbies may not fully understand what your saying, and how it all connects.

Hopefully we just helped connect some dots for newbies.
 

subnet

Boot
"According to NPR, who spoke to Yang for an investigation, UniEnergy was unable to find any US investors. He said they were dissuaded due to the long potential lead times on returns."

"If" no one is going to invest here, due to the immediate gratification bug America suffers from, then ....its our own fault.
 

Blacknarwhal

Let's Go Brandon!
We are so at hock to them, they can basically come over and take whatever they want.
Not even close. In fact, that's utter nonsense.

As of May 2022:


China holds $1.07 trillion of US debt. That isn't even the largest holder. Japan is currently the leader at $1.37 trillion.

The Federal Reserve itself owns more than TWICE the amount China has.
 

Griz3752

Retired, practising Curmudgeon
Follow the money someone connected to that development became suddenly well-off and maybe even retired at an early age.

Sounds like fails (or worse: conscious effort) on several levels.
 

Luddite

Veteran Member
Vanadium ore isn't readily available nor are US environmental laws conducive to production.

Investors like to know their "risks". Too many uncontrollable risks are deal-breakers. Can't blame them.

I wish the greenies would think of real GLOBAL impacts before they sleep good at night because their backyard is clean.
 

hiwall

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Not even close. In fact, that's utter nonsense.

As of May 2022:


China holds $1.07 trillion of US debt. That isn't even the largest holder. Japan is currently the leader at $1.37 trillion.

The Federal Reserve itself owns more than TWICE the amount China has.
Well China does own a lot of real estate here. China does own completely or is a major stake holder in many many companies here.
But I agree China does not own much for US debt, and I don't blame them. I think it would be a poor investment.
 

West

Senior
Vanadium ore isn't readily available nor are US environmental laws conducive to production.

Investors like to know their "risks". Too many uncontrollable risks are deal-breakers. Can't blame them.

I wish the greenies would think of real GLOBAL impacts before they sleep good at night because their backyard is clean.
Right but the bottom line is mandated liability. Rather its environmental liability or labor liability. The lawyers that make laws and our own government is at fault.

We have plenty of prospects, thousands just in the USA....

 

West

Senior
I agree with you except this part. :)
IMHO, most of those prospects aren't viable due to cost.
You're 100% correct on the liability.
Due to the cost to stay compliant, that too is a mandated liability.

All the best.

:D

I think I know where your going with the cost to develop a working mine.

In the USA liability cost is in everything. Even in the production of a shovel....

Or a wheel on a wheel barrel that says on it...."NOT FOR Highway USE" ....... liability.
 
"According to NPR, who spoke to Yang for an investigation, UniEnergy was unable to find any US investors. He said they were dissuaded due to the long potential lead times on returns."

"If" no one is going to invest here, due to the immediate gratification bug America suffers from, then ....its our own fault.
What ROI were American capitalists anticipating for this new battery tech? What role did the EPA play in dissuading them from producing this new (but polluting/dirty?) battery tech, in the U.S.?

The specific details of WHY American capitalists were persuaded to NOT set up production in the U.S. is the real story, here.

THAT is what the American taxpayers need to know and understand. Our collective ignorance regarding American capital formation and application process is the primary problem. LOTS of guilty American politico and corporate parties to share the blame. Who, and WHAT is driving this "overseas production" issue?


intothegoodnight
 

West

Senior
Greedy capitalist is what our current socialist leaders and TV news will say. Thus completing the programing.
 

West

Senior
I've spent over 30 years now on fighting the regulating system as well as to stay compliant in manufacturing/fabrication of products here in the USA.

Gotta stay really small (owner operator no employees) or go really big like a wall mart to make money.
 
Top