Indian Oil and Israel’s Phinergy announced a joint venture for commercialising aluminium-air (Al-Air) battery technology on Wednesday. The joint venture, IOC Phinergy (IOP), will be manufacturing Al-Air systems in India and recycle the used aluminium.
Phinergy is a startup specializing in hybrid lithium-ion and aluminium-air/zinc-air battery systems. The new Indo-Israeli JV also intends to develop fuel cells and indigenous hydrogen storage solutions for promoting green mobility, a statement from Indian Oil said.
A letter of intent (LOI) for using this technology was signed between IOP and Maruti Suzuki India. Another LOI for the same was signed between IOP and Ashok Leyland. The JV aims to enhance domestic energy supply based on domestically available aluminium.
“We need to improve the lives of Indians while having a smaller carbon footprint. This technology to develop indigenous batteries using locally available aluminium fits into the energy vision of India,” said Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
“Based on domestically available aluminium, the joint venture plans to manufacture aluminium-air system and produce a boost to India’s flagship programme Make-In-India. At the same time, recycling aluminium will make India ‘aatmanirbhar’ in meeting energy requirements. Apart from Maruti Suzuki, Ashok Leyland and Mahindra are part of the validation of technology,” Pradhan said.
In February 2020, Indian Oil announced it had taken a minority equity stake in Phinergy.
A metal-air battery does not need to be charged like a conventional battery. It generally uses some type of metal (aluminum in this case) as the anode, and air as the cathode, along with a liquid electrolyte. Under the technology that IOP intends to deploy, aluminum would react with oxygen from the air to create aluminum hydroxide.
This would activate the electrolysis process and create a current to generate energy. The aluminium plates can then be replaced and recycled from the aluminum hydroxide residue.