Aqua Metals produces first AquaRefined lead

Aqua Metals produces first AquaRefined lead

Company has verified that the lead produced in the AquaRefining module is more than 99.99 percent pure.

November 1, 2016

Aqua Metals Inc., Alameda, California, has announced that it has produced for the first time its AquaRefined lead at the company’s flagship AquaRefinery lead-acid battery recycling facility in McCarran, Nevada. AquaRefining, unlike smelting, is a water-based, room temperature process using nonpolluting electrochemical lead recycling technology.

“This is a major milestone—not just for our company, but for the entire industry,” says Stephen R. Clarke, chairman and CEO of Aqua Metals. “Our commercial-scale AquaRefining modules have the potential to revolutionize lead recycling and make lead-acid batteries the only truly sustainable battery technology. We are confident that our lead products will exceed the most rigorous industry specifications. I am extremely proud of our entire team for making this dream a reality.”

AquaRefining uses an entirely reusable water-based technology to produce ingots of ultrapure lead. Through its on-site assay, Aqua Metals has verified that the lead produced in the AquaRefining module is more than 99.99 percent pure. The company says it will send its initial production samples to several U.S. battery manufacturing companies—which collectively represent more than 50 percent of U.S. battery production—to allow them to conduct their own assays.

Aqua Metals previously demonstrated the effectiveness of its technology at bench scale, pilot scale and with a single, full-size electrolyzer. The company says it has now produced high-quality AquaRefined lead with a commercial-scale AquaRefining module at its facility in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) in Nevada.

“This is the most critical step in the commissioning process of the Nevada AquaRefinery,” says Clarke. “Over the coming weeks we plan to fully integrate the front-end battery-breaking portion of the facility.”

Aqua Metals manufactures AquaRefining modules at its headquarters in Alameda. The company has built and delivered five modules to its Nevada AquaRefinery thus far and plans to install and commission a total of 16 modules for initial production capacity of 80 metric tons of lead per day. Aqua Metals says it anticipates that the Nevada AquaRefinery will reach its initial production capacity within the coming months.

Aqua Metals has formed strategic partnerships with Interstate Batteries and Battery Systems International and says it is in discussions with nearly every major U.S.-based battery manufacturer and recycler, as well as data center operators and household internet brands, which use lead-acid batteries for backup power).