6K, North Andover, Massachusetts, USA, has announced that former US congressman Joe Kennedy III has joined its board of directors. Kennedy has long been known as a voice for climate action, clean energy development and local manufacture. 6K believes that it offers a tangible representation of the clean energy technology which Kennedy supported during his tenure in government, offering an opportunity for him to drive the technology forward.
“We are delighted to have the congressman join our board of directors,” commented Dr Aaron Bent, CEO. “Joe’s stance on clean energy and the development of green manufacturing technologies is well documented and intersects perfectly with 6K’s mission to deliver high-performance advanced materials that are radically greener than legacy production technologies. Having Joe on our team helps hone our sustainability strategy while propelling 6K to the forefront of the conversation with government initiatives in organisations like the Department of Defense and Department of Energy.”
“Today there are virtually zero battery materials being produced in the United States, costing the country good jobs and tremendous economic opportunity,” stated Kennedy. “6K has huge potential to change this dynamic, enabling us to bring cost-effective and environmentally-friendly battery material production to US soil. The company is powerfully aligned with our new administration’s commitment to US job creation and clean technology and will further solidify Massachusetts’ leadership on the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing.”
Globally, countries are passing legislation requiring a shift to environmentally-friendly technologies like electric vehicles. What is often overlooked, however, is that the materials used to power these are only as clean as production processes used throughout the supply chain. Regrettably, the legacy technologies used to produce advanced battery materials for EVs are unsustainable and harmful to the environment.
Currently tackling materials for energy storage and Additive Manufacturing, the UniMelt® is an industrial microwave platform that is assisting with the industrial transformation of advanced material production with sustainable manufacturing. The platform reportedly offers multifaceted sustainability benefits: if a legacy battery cathode production plant was replaced with a UniMelt system, for example, by 2030 alone, 100% of wastewater would have been eliminated (~210 billion litres), plus 37 billion pounds of CO2 greenhouse gases and 67 billion kWh of energy and 177 billion litres of water (70% and 90% reductions, respectively).
“6K’s system takes the two-to three-day production cycle of legacy technologies, which consume huge amounts of energy, and replaces it with a clean, two-second process that uses a fraction of the energy,” added Kennedy. “When we talk about clean energy and production responsibility, advanced materials and next-generation systems have to be a part of that conversation. 6K’s UniMelt system is a next-generation system that this sector desperately needs.”
As well as delivering cleaner processing, UniMelt also allows material performance to be fine-tuned. For the EV sector, batteries could be designed with both longer ranges and shorter charge times, potentially accelerating wider adoption of the technology.