Shanghai, China (PRWEB) October 30, 2008
Lead-acid batteries used in today's motor vehicles deserve a bigger role in the hybrids of tomorrow, Bruce Neil said today at the Asian Lead and Zinc Conference in Shanghai. Neil is president and chief executive officer of The Doe Run Company , one of the world's top integrated lead producers.
"Our challenge as an industry is to be sure we create and take advantage of sustainable opportunities as the world continues to change. We don't have to look further than the hybrid car and electric bicycle," Neil said.
"It is the responsibility of the lead industry to take a leading role in the evolution of modern automobiles. The technology used in conventional cars today is also well suited for the hybrids of tomorrow," he said. "We need to get more cars on the road employing lead-acid battery technology and provide more first-hand experience with the advantages of this proven technology."
Based in St. Louis, Doe Run is one of 48 members of the Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium, a research group focused on advancing the capability of lead-acid batteries to help electric vehicles become a reality. With a 100,000-mile test drive of a Honda Insight, the consortium demonstrated that a lead-acid system is at least as durable as nickel metal hydride batteries as well as more efficient and considerably less expensive.
"This test of a lead-acid battery system in a hybrid car was a great success, but our industry hasn't done a very good job of sharing this story with government leaders and the public at large," Neil said.
Neil also noted that recycling of lead-acid batteries is an environmental success story, with 99 percent of lead batteries recycled in the United States.
"Recycling is a service to our customers in the battery business and a contribution to sustainability," Neil said.
Operating one of the most advanced lead recycling facilities in the world, Doe Run annually converts some 13.5 million lead-acid batteries back into raw materials for new battery production.
In a discussion of challenges and opportunities in the global marketplace, Neil also told the industry group that society's uses of lead have changed through the centuries, yet the base metal has remained fundamental to the quality of life through the ages.
"As developing countries continue to advance, their standard of living increases and adds to demand for the metals that are synonymous with the quality of life. Increasing populations stimulate the rising demand for fundamental materials. We have a responsibility - and a challenge - to meet these needs with sustainable operations," Neil said.
Neil has spent more than 30 years in the metals industry, spanning four companies and three countries. A native Canadian, he joined Doe Run in 1998 serving initially as operations manager of Doe Run's primary smelter in Glover, Mo., and later as general manager.
In 2003, Neil served as president of Doe Run Peru, which is now a sister corporation to The Doe Run Company. During his tenure in Peru, Neil led the company through years of record-low metal prices and unstable market conditions. While overseeing nearly 4,000 employees in Peru, Neil worked to reach consensus with the Peruvian Government and authorities on environmental operating agreements, and fostered greater sustainable development opportunities with local and regional community stakeholders. In 2006, Neil was named president and chief executive officer for The Doe Run Company.
Prior to joining Doe Run, Neil held positions with ASARCO in Nebraska and Missouri, with Timminco in Ontario, and with Noranda's smelters in Quebec and New Brunswick.
About The Doe Run Company
Based in St. Louis, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company and the largest integrated lead producer in the Western Hemisphere. Dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral and metal production, Doe Run operates one of the world's largest, single-site lead recycling facilities, located in Boss, Mo. The Doe Run Company and its subsidiaries deliver products and services necessary to provide power, protection and convenience. Doe Run has operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona. For more information, visit http://www.doerun.com.
kmartin @ doerun.com
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