BISMARCK, N.D. -The North Dakota Industrial Commission has approved a $238,366 Renewable Energy Program grant to the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks to develop a material that will enhance batteries, giving them more power, a longer battery life and better performance in low temperatures.
The project will refine the method for extracting and purifying humic acid from leonardite, a material found in lignite deposits. North Dakota has one of the richest leonardite deposits in the world. Humic acid has a variety of uses including fertilizer, human consumption, and cathode material for batteries.
While initially UND will prepare the humic acid cathode materials at pilot scale, the ultimate goal is to produce an improved battery that will be utilized by electric bike manufacturer Clean Republic, which is based out of Grand Forks. The total cost of the project is $696,238. Clean Republic is providing an investment of $457,873 for the project.
"We are excited about this research, which would enhance batteries and provide market diversification to enhance the use of North Dakota leonardite," the Industrial Commission said in a joint statement. "One of the challenges for renewable energy is energy storage technology and this could be one step in meeting those challenges.
The success of this project could also lead to increased manufacturing of humic acid and batteries in the state." The Legislature established the Renewable Energy Grant program in 2007 to provide funding for research, development, marketing and education to foster growth of renewable energy including wind, biofuels, biomass, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, hydrogen, and advanced energy technology.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of Governor Doug Burgum, as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, oversees the Renewable Energy Program.
For more information on the project or the program, contact Karlene Fine (701-328-3722) or Andrea Holl Pfennig (701-328-5300) or visit www.nd.gov/ndic/renew-infopage.htm.
Karlene Fine, Executive Director & Secretary
State Capitol, 14th Floor - 600 E Boulevard Ave Dept 405 - Bismarck, ND 58505-0840
PHONE: 701-328-3722 FAX: 701-328-2820
"Your Gateway to North Dakota": www.nd.gov