With the production of these two materials, the Company has recovered all the high-value metals from used lithium-ion batteries, including lithium hydroxide, copper, and nickel, proving at bench scale its metals recycling process. Based on the successful results to date, the Company has initiated the deployment of a lithium-ion recycling pilot at its Innovation Center in Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center that will begin operations later this year.
Unlike other recycling processes that require multiple steps to produce high purity metals, Aqua Metals has proven at bench scale that its Li AquaRefining process can produce high purity individual metals more efficiently. These metals can be sold immediately or be processed into battery cathode precursor materials for lithium-ion batteries utilizing proven methods currently in use.
“With the successful completion of all of our metals recycling proof points at bench scale, we are rapidly deploying the fully integrated pilot at our Innovation Center located in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center this summer, and we expect to commence operations in the coming months,” said Steve Cotton, President and CEO of Aqua Metals. “We expect that at the early pilot stage, we will be able to recycle six to ten metric tonnes (MT) of lithium-ion black mass per month with the goal of scaling to commercial demonstration quantities each month throughout the year and generating meaningful revenues for the Company by the end of 2023.”