Maxwell Technologies European Ultracapacitor Recycling Project

 Maxwell Technologies Logo AIntroduction 

Maxwell Technologies is a San Diego-based company and is one of the largest manufacturers of ultracapacitors in the world.  In addition to its San Diego facilities, the company also has extensive operations in Switzerland and China.

Maxwell Technologies is one of the world’s leading producers of ultracapacitors.  Ultracapacitors are used to distribute energy from batteries to and through short burst/high energy applications.  Ultracapacitors are used in a variety of applications, including automotive, aviation, energy distribution, mass transit, etc.

Maxwell Technologies UltracapcitorAs the use of ultracapacitors increases, Maxwell Technologies reached the conclusion that it needed to develop a safe and environmentally efficient means for its customers to dispose of its products.  Ideally, the company would like to recycle the various components which are contained within its products.  Maxwell Technologies retained L.B. Schmidt & Associates, LLC for the purpose of launching this project and developing the first post-consumer (end use) market for spent ultracapacitors in Europe.

Project Scope

Luke Schmidt first met with company officials in San Diego to obtain a greater understanding of the company’s products and sales and distribution channels.  A similar meeting was held with company officials in its European division located in Rossens, Switzerland.

Meetings were conducted with key customer groups throughout Europe in order to gain a better understanding of the various applications of ultracapacitors and how they are used in various product applications in the field.  In order to develop the recycling system, an appropriate end-use market needed to be confirmed.

It quickly became apparent that battery recycling companies might provide the most productive end-use market opportunities.  Luke Schmidt met with the CEO of the European Battery Recycling Association in Paris and from this meeting was able to develop a list of potential end-use market companies throughout Europe.  Individual meetings were held and site visits conducted.  The list of potential end-use markets was narrowed down to two companies – one in France and the other in Sweden.

Luke Schmidt facilitated lab-scale testing of Maxwell Technologies’ ultracapacitors in both locations.  The French company was confirmed as the most appropriate end-use market for Maxwell’s products.  Luke Schmidt facilitated a contract for recycling services between the French firm and Maxwell Technologies.