Aqua Metals' lithium-ion battery recycling concept closer to completion
Aqua Metals has made progress in moving its lithium-ion battery (LiB) recycling process from concept to execution to meet the growing global demand for lithium-ion battery recycling and supply chain needs.
The Aqua Metals LiNiCo strategic alliance provides the venue for Aqua Metals to apply its AquaRefining process to LiB recycling in a commercial production facility. Aqua Metals' preliminary work has yielded promising results, meeting benchmarks and has the potential to achieve end-to-end recycling as early as the end of the year.
LiNiCo is focused on developing and implementing its novel LiB crushing, separation, and extraction processes for lithium and graphite. Aqua Metals plans to process the black mass produced by LiNiCo and others to produce pure nickel, cobalt copper, and other key high-value compounds. The company has already successfully lab-tested cobalt plating, yielding high purity cobalt. Aqua Metals is targeting a pilot circuit that will produce meaningful quantities of critical metals and compounds by late summer or early fall 2022.
The two companies plan to combine their technologies in a 140,000 square foot LiNiCo plant in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, to create a fully integrated recycling and refining operation with commercial production beginning and scaling by late 2022 or early 2023.
To help Aqua Metals define and achieve its rapid growth roadmap, the company has also appointed Dave McMurtry as the chief strategist. McMurtry is responsible for assisting with the development of Aqua Metals' go-to-market strategy for AquaRefining. His global experience of working in more than 80 countries on five continents will help accelerate the company's borderless licensing model, partnering with LiB ecosystem players (recyclers, battery manufacturers, distribution, and collection companies) that are looking for sustainable metals recycling that will deliver high-value metals back into the manufacturing supply chain while reducing emissions and toxic byproducts.
McMurtry is supervising initiatives to help government officials understand the importance of supporting sustainable metals recycling methods given the forecasted five million metric tons of spent lithium-ion batteries by 2030, as well as highlight how the new, burgeoning industry will bring economic opportunities and jobs to local communities.
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