Reno, Nev., December 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aqua Metals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AQMS) (“Aqua Metals" or the “Company”), which is reinventing metals recycling with its AquaRefining™ technology, today announced it has completed equipment installation and is now operating its first-of-a-kind lithium battery recycling facility, utilizing electricity to recycle instead of intensive chemical processes, fossil fuels, or high-temperature furnaces.
Located at the company’s Innovation Center in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in Nevada, the pilot is now operational with the introduction of feedstock into the automated system, enabling immediate recovery of valuable critical minerals from spent lithium batteries.
“This is an unprecedented accomplishment for Aqua Metals, and for the global push toward electrification,” said Steve Cotton, President and CEO, Aqua Metals. “We believe that Aqua Metals is the first company to take a vision beyond the laboratory, by establishing an industrial-scale, dedicated, US-based recycling facility, built to continuously produce metric tons of high-purity minerals from spent lithium-ion batteries. We are confident that Aqua Metals is now positioned to be the first metals recycling facility in North America to recover battery-grade lithium hydroxide from spent batteries in commercial quantities, and to initiate sales of recycled critical minerals into both metals markets and the lithium-ion battery supply chain.”
The company’s Li AquaRefining™ technology is a low-emissions, closed-loop recycling solution capable of recovering all valuable metals, including high-purity lithium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel from lithium batteries. The company’s goal is to demonstrate through the pilot operations its belief that Li AquaRefining is an economically superior process that offers a lower cost pathway to recycle critical minerals and achieve net-zero emissions.
Li AquaRefining utilizes electroplating powered by electricity to recover metals instead of intensive chemical processes or polluting fossil-fuel furnaces. The patent-pending Li AquaRefining enables low-cost and efficient production of high-purity products - drastically lowering emissions and limiting waste streams - and is designed to significantly reduce capital and operating costs.
“I applaud our entire team for completing the successful equipment installation and working through the supply chain challenges to commence operations of this state-of-the-art recycling facility,” said Ben Taecker, Aqua Metals’ Chief Engineering and Operating Officer. “This is a foundational step for Aqua Metals as we begin scaling to demonstration capacity and subsequent full-scale commercial operations of what we believe is the world’s cleanest and lowest-cost lithium battery recycling technology.”
With the pilot facility operational and on track, Aqua Metals anticipates the following milestones in the first quarter of 2023:
Achieving targeted product specs for each high-purity metal
Ramping of the pilot facility to process metric tons of black mass per month
Becoming the first company in North America to recover battery-grade lithium hydroxide from spent lithium-ion batteries in commercial quantities
Mr. Cotton continued, “With pilot operations commencing, Aqua Metals is focused on quickly advancing from the planning and validation phases to execution. We expect to initiate sales of recycled materials in the first quarter of 2023, while simultaneously advancing strategic offtake agreements to expand our revenue opportunity significantly. Accordingly, we expect 2023 to be a year of commercialization, leveraging our first-mover advantage within an industry eager for a solution to growing shortages of key battery components.”
Li AquaRefining Pilot Facility
For more information and photos of our pilot operation, please visit our website blog at https://aquametals.com/blog/
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