Battery recycling innovator Aqua Metals says it has successfully recovered high-purity nickel from lithium battery black mass, using its proprietary Li AquaRefining process.
Aqua also recently announced the recovery of high-purity lithium hydroxide and copper from black mass at its pilot facility located in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.
Aqua’s Li AquaRefining technology recovers nickel and other valuable metals using electroplating in a closed loop. The company says this eliminates the need for energy-intensive and wasteful chemical processes that increase the cost and environmental footprint of recycling.
Aqua explains that current commercial recycling methods use an energy-intensive smelting process that involves high temperatures, produces toxic fumes that must be mitigated, and is unable to recover usable lithium or manganese. An alternative process, hydrometallurgy, consumes hazardous chemicals, producing landfill waste and significant environmental impact from the production and transport of the one-time-use chemicals.
“Aqua Metals continues to drive clean battery recycling forward, and recovering high-purity nickel without a polluting smelter or train loads of one-time-use chemicals and costly waste streams is a landmark achievement for the industry,” said President and CEO Steve Cotton. “Our modular recycling pilot is proving out our vision for low-cost, sustainable lithium battery recycling.”
“Cost-effective and sustainable battery recycling cannot be achieved if each ton recovered requires multiple tons of chemicals and results in tons of waste and pollution,” said Ben Taecker, Chief Engineering and Operations Officer. “Using AquaRefining, we can eliminate these hazards, which creates a safer work environment and minimizes transport of chemicals.”
Source: Aqua Metals