ICL bets on bromine for energy storage

Israel Chemicals Ltd. is investing in zinc bromide flow battery technology from companies like Primus Power and Redflow in a bid to grow the energy storage bromine market. Photo credit: ICL

Israel Chemicals Ltd is investing in zinc bromide flow battery technology from companies like Primus Power and Redflow in a bid to grow the energy storage bromine market. Photo: ICL

By Jason Deign

The manufacturing giant Israel Chemicals Ltd (ICL) is looking to support flow battery vendors in order to extend the market for bromine supplies.

The support will be in the form of energy storage deployments alongside ICL’s manufacturing centres and improvements to bromine compounds used by flow battery makers, said Charles Weidhas, CEO of ICL Industrial Products.

ICL is not considering flow battery company acquisitions at present, he told Energy Storage Report. “We are now talking to battery companies to see what we can do to support larger-scale applications,” Weidhas said.

“The thing that’s attractive for us is that we’re in the bromine business, and looking for ways to grow bromine. All analysts are optimistic that more and more batteries are going to be used.”

Last month ICL announced that it had installed a Primus Power EnergyCell zinc bromide-based flow battery at a manufacturing site in Rancho Cucamonga, California, USA, dedicated to the production of fire retardants.
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Primus wins US energy storage contract

One of last week’s top stories, reported by Greentech Grid and others, was that Primus has been awarded a contract by Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) to provide an energy storage system for a microgrid at the US Marine Corps Air Station in California. The project will consist of a 250kW, 1MW-hour flow-battery allied with an existing 230kW solar installation. The system is due to be installed in 2014.

Microgrids and their associated energy storage components are getting a boost from the military, small island communities and disaster preparedness, all of which benefit from the autonomy that energy storage has to offer.