United States – Aqua Metals, Inc. of the USA, the company behind the commercialisation of the room temperature, water-based electrochemical lead recycling technology called AquaRefining, recorded a loss in 2016 but described the year as ‘pivotal’ for its business.
Aqua Metals commissioned its first AquaRefinery at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center in Nevada last year and is now in the process of scaling up the facility. It also signed a strategic partnership with the USA’s leading battery recycler Interstate Batteries under which the latter made a strategic investment of approximately US$ 10 million and agreed to supply lead-acid batteries as feedstock to Aqua Metals.
More recently, it was confirmed that Aqua Metals had signed a strategic partnership covering North America, China and Europe with Johnson Controls.
The world’s largest manufacturer of automotive batteries has paid US$ 10.6 million for approximately 5% of Aqua Metals’ outstanding shares and has become the first licensee for the ‘non-polluting’ AquaRefining technology. Also, it agreed to supply Aqua Metals with batteries to recycle as a service, and to purchase metals produced from Aqua Metals’ facilities.
‘As we move through 2017, we will continue the expansion of AquaRefinery 1 (in Nevada), look to build additional AquaRefineries and build out our licensing programme,’ states Dr Stephen Clarke, chairman and ceo of Aqua Metals.
He adds: ‘This will include progressing discussions to conclusion with providers of debt or other non-diluting finance for additional AquaRefineries, evaluating complementary licensing opportunities and beginning work on higher-value products and markets.’