United States – Aqua Metals, Inc., the US company behind a lead recycling process that is ‘fundamentally non-polluting’, has issued an update on its progress towards the world’s first AquaRefining facility.
For the purposes of the proprietary water-based electrochemical lead recycling technology, there are already 15 modules ‘onsite and in place’ at the company’s facility in McCarran, Nevada – with a further one to be shipped.
Four modules are assembled, commissioned and being used to determine the optimal operating parameters, including electrolyte pH, lead concentration, operating temperature, electrolyte flow rate and free acid levels.
An additional four modules are close to being fully assembled while the balance of the modules are in the process of assembly. ‘Accordingly, the company expects to have all 16 modules installed and commissioned by the end of the year,’ it states.
The firm has produced small quantities of AquaRefined lead during the commissioning process. Ramp-up of production is expected to continue through the fourth quarter and into 2018 as modules are brought online and shifts are added.
Aqua Metals’ production process includes multiple stages prior to AquaRefining, including battery breaking, separation, desulphurisation and electrolyte production. The final stage of production involves processing AquaRefined lead and the metallic lead recovered from batteries through an ingot production line.
The company is in the process of synchronising all of these stages. The last step, it adds, will be to produce and sell ingots of AquaRefined lead.