Johnson Controls, the largest manufacturer of automotive batteries in the world, has finalized an agreement covering North America, China and Europe for Aqua Metals’ electrochemical battery recycling technology. Under terms of the multifaceted deal, Johnson Controls, which has its North American operational headquarters in Milwaukee, also will take a small stake in Aqua Metals, which is based in Alameda, California.
Aqua Metals' AquaRefining technology extracts lead from lead-acid batteries with a room temperature, closed-loop, water-based process that results in reductions of hazardous waste and direct human contact with lead. The process produces lead that is as pure as – or purer than – mined lead, requiring no secondary processing. (For a feature article on Aqua Metals from the January 2017 Scrap Metals Supplement to Recycling Today, click here.)
"Our partnership with Johnson Controls is a tremendous step forward and is an opportunity for us to work with the global leader in automotive battery manufacturing and responsible recycling," says Stephen Clarke, chairman and CEO of Aqua Metals. "We will build on this exciting relationship in order to enable clean and efficient battery recycling around the world."
Under the agreement, Johnson Controls also will :
- become the first licensee for AquaRefining technology;
- supply Aqua Metals with batteries to recycle as a service, as part of the Johnson Controls closed-loop network;
- purchase AquaRefined metals produced from Aqua Metals' facilities; and
- acquire slightly less than 5 percent of Aqua Metals’ outstanding shares.
"Agreements like this are a part of our continuing strategy to invest in clean technologies, building on our commitment to create a more sustainable and environmentally responsible industry," says Joe Walicki, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions.
Aqua Metals, which recently opened its first battery recycling plant in McCarran, Nevada, uses an advanced electrochemical process for recycling batteries. To read about the opening, click here.
To read a more extensive feature on Aqua Metals, click here.
Johnson Controls Power Solutions is the world's largest manufacturer of automotive batteries. The company says it supplies 152 million batteries every year to automakers and aftermarket retailers.