- Aqua Metals has announced the successful production of its first-ever ingot of 99.99% pure refined lead at its AquaRefinery facility in McCarran, NV.
- The company says its water-based, room-temperature process is "the only clean recycling method." Aqua Metals has verified the material's quality through its own assay and will now send samples to U.S. battery manufacturers for outside verification.
- The AquaRefining modules are built at Aqua Metals' headquarters in Alameda, CA. Five modules have been delivered to the Nevada facility with plans for a total of 16 that will have an overall production capacity of 80 metrics tons per day.
This is a big step for Aqua Metals, which faced some skepticism over potential facility emissions earlier this year but has been very confident in its results and since lined up multiple key partnerships. The company signed an agreement with Interstate Batteries in May for the supply of more than 1 million batteries to use as feedstock as well as a $10 million investment. Battery Systems International is also a partner and agreements with more large manufacturers are in the works.
"This is a major milestone – not just for our company, but for the entire industry," said CEO Stephen R. Clarke in a press release. "Our commercial-scale AquaRefining modules have the potential to revolutionize lead recycling and make lead-acid batteries the only truly sustainable battery technology."
Lead-acid batteries are among some of the most highly recycled items in the U.S., but the standard method of smelting is seen as less efficient than the Aqua Metals process. The batteries are commonly used for back-up power in data centers and other facilities. The Battery Council International says that lead is one of the best energy storage technologies and 74% of lead used in new batteries is recovered from recycling.