Aqua Metals, Inc., Nevada, United States, (NASDAQ: AQMS) has announced that initial testing of a new methodology for producing battery manufacturing ready active material directly from the AquaRefining process has demonstrated promising results. A provisional patent has been filed to protect the new process, which is expected to provide added economic and environmental benefits for AquaRefining licensees.
The active material, lead oxide, is the key ingredient used in a battery and comprises over half of a battery’s lead content. The traditional method utilized to produce oxide for lead batteries is a four-step process: (1) smelting lead recovered from used batteries or AquaRefining into lead briquettes; (2) refining that lead to the proper purity; (3) casting the lead into ingots and (4) remelting those ingots to be placed in an oxide reactor for oxide manufacturing. Aqua Metals’ innovative approach would help the $65 billion lead acid battery industry bypass steps 2 and 3 (refining and ingoting), resulting in significant savings in time, money and emissions as the AquaRefined lead briquettes would transition directly to the melting stage at the oxide manufacturer.
“Because AquaRefining achieves such high purity (currently 99.996+%), it provides the opportunity to bypass the refining stage and take briquetted AquaRefined lead directly to the battery manufacturing process,” said Steve Cotton, President and CEO of Aqua Metals. “Bypassing the refining and ingoting steps would enable recyclers that license and deploy AquaRefining equipment to reduce costs from labor and processing time as well as reduce the environmental impact of recycling and manufacturing new batteries. By helping to efficiently bridge this resource-intensive gap between the battery recycling and the battery manufacturing processes, our new capability can potentially bring additional environmental and cost benefits for our future customers.”
“Aqua Metals worked with a well-established lead oxide manufacturer for testing. Results from our initial production are very promising and we are engaged in ongoing R&D for this new, innovative process,” Cotton added. “A provisional patent has been filed for this procedure and we have already engaged in discussions with some of our potential licensees for AquaRefining to consider utilizing this transformative process. We expect this development to be a very attractive added benefit, both to battery recyclers and manufacturers.”
About Aqua Metals
Aqua Metals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AQMS) is reinventing lead recycling with its patented AquaRefining™ technology. Unlike smelting, AquaRefining is a room temperature, water-based process that emits less pollution. The modular systems are intended to allow the Company to vastly reduce environmental impact and scale lead acid battery recycling production capacity by supplying equipment, services and licensing the AquaRefining technology to partners. This could help meet the growing demand for lead to power new applications including stop/start automobile batteries which complement the vehicle’s main battery, lead acid batteries which are in electric vehicles, Internet data centers, alternative energy applications including solar, wind, and grid scale storage. Aqua Metals is based in McCarran, Nevada.