Dragonfly Energy manufactures lithium battery cell using Aqua Metals' recycled battery material
Dragonfly Energy Holdings Corp., in collaboration with Aqua Metals, Inc., has successfully used high-purity lithium hydroxide recovered by Aqua Metals from recycled lithium-ion batteries to manufacture a lithium-based battery cell using Dragonfly Energy's dry battery electrode coating technology. Dragonfly Energy says that the successful recovery of battery-grade lithium hydroxide and cycle testing of a sustainably manufactured lithium battery cell is a significant advancement for sustainable lithium-ion battery production for the companies.
The process demonstrates a potential path toward a more circular and sustainable lithium battery manufacturing industry that addresses the finite and costly nature of battery materials.
"This is an exciting step forward for the emerging lithium battery industry, as we have qualified the high-purity lithium hydroxide Aqua Metals recovers from recycled lithium batteries to manufacture new battery cells," said Dr. Vick Singh, director of research and development for Dragonfly Energy. "This is yet another way Dragonfly continues to develop energy storage solutions with widespread applications using sustainable measures."
Aqua Metals, a clean battery recycling innovator also based in Reno, Nevada, recovers high-purity lithium hydroxide from lithium-ion battery black mass, which is the industry term for the metallic mixture of crushed and shredded end-of-life battery cells that contain valuable minerals, including lithium. Aqua Metals provided this high-purity lithium hydroxide to Dragonfly Energy, where it was used in the production of a standard CR2032 cell using the company's dry powder coating process. This strategic initiative confirms that sustainably recycled materials can meet the high standards for advanced battery cell production and can be an essential part of building a circular supply chain for the domestic battery industry.
"This is an exciting milestone for us in establishing the efficacy of our sustainable recycling process and affirming that our high-purity recovered material is battery grade and of equal quality to virgin mined material – with a much lower carbon and waste footprint," said Steve Cotton, president and chief executive officer of Aqua Metals.
The process demonstrates the potential for a future closed lithium loop in Nevada in which all stages of lithium battery production, from exploration to manufacturing and then recycling, happen within the state. Nevada is well-positioned as the starting and ending point for lithium batteries. The state is believed to have the largest source of lithium in North America and is a growing market for electric vehicles, consumer electronics, and the many consumer and industrial end-user applications for energy storage technologies.
"The use of recycled lithium addresses two major initiatives for Dragonfly Energy: It helps close the loop by filling in that all-important recycling component, and it provides a ready and sustainable supply of lithium for use in upcoming cell production," said Dr. Denis Phares, chief executive officer of Dragonfly Energy. "Dragonfly Energy is committed to securing a robust supply chain that is compliant with the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act – relating to both mineral processing and battery recycling goals – to support our growth and our future expansion efforts while practicing material circularity and sustainability."