Aqua Metals Pushes Boundaries by Producing High-Purity Lithium Hydroxide from Recycled Batteries
Aqua Metals Pushes Boundaries by Producing High-Purity Lithium Hydroxide from Recycled Batteries

Aqua Metals Pushes Boundaries by Producing High-Purity Lithium Hydroxide from Recycled Batteries

  • 24-Feb-2023 3:50 PM
  • Journalist: Shiba Teramoto

Nevada [United States]: Aqua Metals, Inc., a leader in Lithium-ion battery recycling and sustainability, has achieved an important milestone - successful recovery of high-purity Lithium Hydroxide from Lithium-ion battery black mass at its Li AquaRefining™ recycling facility located at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC).

The use of recycled Lithium Hydroxide produced and made available at scale is a major milestone in closing the supply chain loop for essential battery metals used in America, paving the way to an improved, environmentally friendly battery manufacturing industry. Furthermore, this immediate recovery of Lithium Hydroxide is transforming the economics surrounding batteries like Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP), where most of the valuable material consists of Lithium, as opposed to Nickel and Cobalt-based batteries.

“We believe Li AquaRefining is now the only proven battery recycling technology that can produce Lithium Hydroxide at scale – avoiding the need for additional costly and polluting refinement,” stated Steve Cotton, CEO and President of Aqua Metals. “We believe this new capability can have a profound impact on the Lithium battery industry in North America. Our sustainably recycled Lithium can help ensure a robust supply of critical metals to meet the Inflation Reduction Act’s ambitious goals for domestic content and enables us to share samples and advance our discussions with prospective partners in battery and cathode manufacturing.”

Aqua Metals has revolutionized the industry with its Li AquaRefining pilot facility, a break-through closed-loop recycling system designed to capture all the vital components located within spent Lithium batteries. This is accomplished using electricity instead of hazardous chemical processes or polluting furnaces, letting manufacturers produce battery-grade Lithium Hydroxide directly from black mass by utilizing their exclusive regenerative electro-hydrometallurgy process.

Lithium Hydroxide is often the preferred cathode material in electric vehicles and energy storage systems due to its ease of use in manufacturing and superior electrochemical performance. This helps power batteries that are safer, more efficient, and last longer than other Lithium salts or Carbonates.

“Successfully scaling up our unique Lithium Hydroxide recovery process is a major technical milestone for the industry, heralding an era of low-emissions, circular supply of critical battery metals produced from domestic resources,” stated Ben Taecker, Chief Engineering and Operations Officer at Aqua Metals. “Producing large quantities of recycled feedstock is new to battery manufacturing, and our ability to combine the recycling and refining of Lithium into one process avoids unnecessary waste streams, lowers overall costs and improves supply chain efficiency for the rapidly growing Lithium battery industry.”

Aqua Metals recently announced that their Li AquaRefining Pilot is set to become operational in 2022. This will make them the first North American company to offer a pilot scale electro-hydrometallurgy battery recycling facility. With this advanced technology, they aim to recover battery-grade Lithium Hydroxide and Manganese Dioxide as well as pure Cobalt, Nickel and Copper metals from spent Lithium-ion batteries. Furthermore, the design basis for their 10,000 ton per year Lithium battery recycling campus is planned to begin phased development later this year. This marks a giant leap forward in cleaner, more efficient and sustainable battery production for electric vehicle batteries and energy storage systems.

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