ReEnergy LLC

Transforming the automotive battery supply chain into a sustainable, circular system.

What is ReEnergy?

We’re addressing the urgent need for the creation of a sustainable automotive battery circular supply chain creating a new value stream through recycling diversion and the redeployment and repurposing of used batteries for modular energy storage needs.

Our initiative is centered on the innovative redeployment of existing automotive batteries no longer suitable for the high-current demands of automobile engine starting. The useful life of an automotive battery is generally 3-5 years while retaining the capacity to function for other uses. The high output required for a vehicle to start typically diminishes after 20% of the battery’s useful life. According to a national advertisement by O’Reilly Auto Parts, one out of four batteries will fail over the winter months.

Recycling and disposal of automotive lead-acid batteries pose significant environmental and health hazards, particularly concerning toxic recycling, smelting, and improper disposal practices. When purchased, a core deposit is used to incentivize retail battery return while the logistics, hazards, and safe material handling challenges remain poorly addressed. Based on current recycling channels, only a portion of usable batteries are diverted for redeployment, leaving approximately 25% destined for scrap material recycling. The North American model relies on approximately 15 recyclers.

ReEnergy overview:

Our goal is to develop regional sorting and redeployment centers utilizing proven automation technologies, mobile robotics, and distributed manufacturing methods. We aim to maximize the repurposing of the available waste stream by reducing transportation, material handling, and logistics while limiting the current process of draining, grinding, and smelting… reducing to base materials, because of the toxic and highly hazardous materials involved. It is becoming increasingly difficult to operate or expand these facilities under current environmental and employee safety regulations. Our goal is to avoid recycling and rather redeploy to create a new circular value stream for the remaining useful life of these existing batteries. The lead-acid battery lifecycle includes convenient replacement, most consumers regard these batteries as disposable and are unaware of the complex supply chain and waste streams associated with these hazardous, innocuous, products.

Advances in battery chemistry, electrolyte dosing, nanotechnologies, and charging and load management continue to expand our potential. ReEnergy will develop a platform for ongoing development and provide research partners with access to the regional circular supply chains required to properly develop, monitor, validate, and scale future technologies.

We are challenged with a growing toxic waste stream while experiencing a reduction of available infrastructure to process these materials. By repurposing these batteries, we open the door to a variety of practical and sustainable circular supply chains. Some of these diversionary applications include:

  • Integrated Renewable Energy Applications
    o Distributed electric vehicle (EV) charging
    o Solar carport integration
    o Commercial security / lot security / personnel safety
    o Commercial / neighborhood / home DC Fast Charging
  • Renewable collections (off-grid/on-grid)
  • Grid resilience
  • Modular battery energy storage systems (BESS)
  • Scalable grid back-up: residential, community, commercial, industrial, and utility-scale

Environmental impact:

Projects such as these hold the potential to capture and utilize currently spilled renewable energy. Renewable energy is commonly shed during peak production due to a lack of grid capacity. Our applications support the growing demand to store and utilize this energy locally, leveraging existing technologies like peak shaving and load shifting in both front-of-meter and behind-meter applications – increasing resilience and grid security, protecting commercial assets, and providing bump-less reserve power to ride through poor quality and utility power outage conditions.

Lead is a potent neurotoxin with no known safe exposure level, capable of causing fevers, gastrointestinal problems, and even triggering violent behavior in communities. Improving our infrastructure and procedures is critical to safeguarding our environment and the safety of the personnel involved.

Social impact:

Our approach provides strong community benefits, such as job creation in regional sorting and redeployment centers, economic opportunities for service providers, and improved energy security, safety, and efficiency for local communities through integrated renewable energy applications.

Future-proofing the initiative:

Advances in material sciences and advanced manufacturing have provided an opportunity to revolutionize historically inefficient, legacy processes. Great focus has been paid to future second life Lithium-Ion EV battery redeployment models while ignoring the existing situation and the majority of vehicular lead-acid battery deployments.

The automotive battery industry is ripe for redevelopment while the need for modular and scalable power storage continues to increase. Our hope is to transform an existing waste stream into a valuable circular supply chain while mitigating ongoing environmental damage and unsafe practices. We are applying current technologies to address an institutional challenge. Developing flexible, modular solutions and supporting mixed chemistry architectures ensures our solutions will adapt as future battery technologies, chemistries, and form factors evolve.

In an era of environmental awareness and increased focus on renewable energy sources, it is unconscionably wasteful to grind up the remaining batteries when they no longer serve their initial purpose of starting your car.

Commercial viability and market penetration:

ReEnergy does not seek, nor do we expect, to dominate the market. Instead, we aim to encourage cooperation, support research, and foster industry and utility partnerships. Our goal is to support the competitive redeployment of the model in regional market centers through technology licensing, and the sharing of key concepts and best practices.

We are a for-profit enterprise seeking sustainable and socially responsible profits with a focus on philanthropy and building stronger communities through realistic, commercially viable, and sustainable applications of advanced technology. We welcome cooperation and criticism alike, inviting all serious contributors to take part in the creation of this new circular value chain.