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recycling

China finds way to reuse 50m lead-acid batteries a year

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 14:46 -- Paul Crompton

A Chinese company may have found a way to save 50 million of the country’s lead-acid batteries reaching land-fill after developing an activator it claims can restore the battery’s capacity.

Around two hundred million lead-acid batteries are discarded in China each year, but at least 25% of them could be refurbished, according to Guangzhou Hong Huai Energy Company.

“The core reason of the short life of lead-acid batteries is that the inevitable product Pb2SO4 (lead sulfate) would gradually form irreversible lead sulfate crystals,” Shangnan, Huang, the chairman of Hong Huai Energy Company, said.

The company had successively invested ¥60 million ($9 million) to carry out the development of the battery regeneration technology.

The battery activator in an acidic environment, combined with the external application of working voltage, can catalyse the decomposition of lead sulfate crystals, and then turn sulfate crystals into substances that can continue to participate in chemical reactions, which make batteries become functional again.

Using high-definition electron microscopy the company observed how the Pb2SO4 crystal on the battery plate had a large crystal shape before regeneration. But after repairing, it turns into floc.

However, some cynicism needs to be practiced, because as one battery industry insider told BEST, that equates to around 500,000 tonnes per year, or around $1billion in metal value. So an important question is, if Guangzhou Hong Huai Energy's figure is true, is it going to be cost effective? The insider called the scheme, ahem, 'bovine excrement'— or words to that effect. BEST questions how the company will test the sulfation of that many batteries.

The proof, as they say, will be in the pudding.

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Recycling start-up reaches major milestone

Mon, 11/07/2016 - 10:23 -- Xuan Zhong

US start-up Aqua Metals has produced its first ultrapure lead ingots using its ‘revolutionary’ recycling method.

The company used its AquaRefining technology to produce the lead ingot at its plant on the Tahoe Reno Industrial Estate, Nevada.

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Lithium cell using recycled cathode materials to be tested

Wed, 10/19/2016 - 09:37 -- Xuan Zhong

Large-scale recycling of lithium-ion cathode materials moved a step closer to market readiness when two North American firms agreed on a testing program.

US metals firm American Manganese aims to commercialise its proprietary hydrometallurgical process for the recycling of cathode materials of multiple chemistries.

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Green lead-acid recycling awarded tax breaks

Fri, 10/07/2016 - 12:44 -- Paul Crompton

Green lead-acid battery recycling start-up Aqua Metals has been granted tax incentives worth around $3.6 million by the State of Nevada.

Aqua Metals recently opened its AquaRefinery facility in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in Nevada, where it’s commercialising a non-polluting electrochemical technology called AquaRefining™.

The tax breaks were granted because of the company ‘facilitating economic development’ and bringing more than 50 jobs to the state by 2017.

The Governor’s Board of Economic Development granted Aqua Metals the Real Property Tax Abatement for Recycling, the Sales and Use Tax Abatement, the Modified Business Tax Abatement and the Personal Property Tax Abatement.

“These incentives will substantially support our bottom line as we begin to ramp recycling production and generate revenue,” said Thomas Murphy, CFO of Aqua Metals.

“Part of our mission is to run a business that is both economically and environmentally sustainable, and Nevada’s pro-business policies are a big part of making that a reality.”

AquaRefining uses a fundamentally non-polluting, room temperature, closed-loop, water-based process to recycle lead-acid batteries.

The Company has deep strategic relationships with key industry partners, including Interstate Batteries, Battery Sysytems International and Wirtz Manufacturing.

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Closed loop lithium battery recycling still not economical

Wed, 09/28/2016 - 15:29 -- Paul Crompton

A number of factors must be reached before a convincing closed-loop system for recycling lithium-ion batteries is ready to be rolled out.

A sufficient recycling process, a stable price, and a constant flow of recyclable batteries must be established, experts have said.

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Safety concerns force partial closure of US lead battery recycling plant

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 12:12 -- Paul Crompton
Safety concerns force partial closure of US lead battery recycling plant

Failure to fix previously cited issues has led to US lead-based battery recycling firm Quemetco having to close part of its plant.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) closed a portion of the company’s battery recycling plant in the City of Industry.

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Tests start on lithium-ion cathode recycling process

Tue, 07/12/2016 - 15:08 -- Paul Crompton
Tests start on lithium-ion cathode recycling process

Canadian metals company American Manganese has started proof of concept testing of its large-scale lithium-ion cathode material recycling process.

Research and development firm Kemetco Research will undertake tests of the company’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process for the recycling of cathode materials, specifically lithium–cobalt.

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Aqua Metals Wins Platts Global Metals Rising Star Award for Innovations in Lead Industry

Wed, 05/25/2016 - 10:52 -- Paul Crompton
Aqua Metals Wins Platts Global Metals Rising Star Award for Innovations in Lead Industry

Electrochemical lead recycling firm Aqua Metals was named the winner of the Rising Star category in the 2016 Platts Global Metals Awards program.

Aqua Metals was recognised for its AquaRefining process, the industry’s first commercially viable alternative lead-acid battery recycling technology.

The company was also named a finalist in the Industry Leadership Award – Base Metals category. All finalists and awardees were chosen from more than 100 nominees across 17 countries.   

“It is an honor to earn the accolades of such a highly respected organization for our work to revolutionize the lead industry,” said Dr. Stephen Clarke (pictured), chairman and CEO of Aqua Metals.

“As we enter a ‘Battery Age,’ lead-acid technologies can experience continued market dominance with the development of a recycling method that is economically sustainable and environmentally responsible. This distinction affirms that Aqua Metals has developed just that.”

Aqua Metals also recently announced the signing of definitive agreements with Interstate Batteries. More here

 

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1m battery deal will get ‘green’ lead refinery off to flying start

Tue, 05/24/2016 - 12:07 -- Paul Crompton
1m battery deal will get ‘green’ lead refinery off to flying start

A deal to process 1,000,000 lead batteries a year will allow ‘green’ recycling start-up Aqua Metals to run its new plant at near capacity from day one once it opens.

The US company, which is opening an electrochemical lead recycling plant in Nevada this July, signed a definitive agreements with North American replacement battery maker Interstate Batteries.

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Sub-Saharan Africa’s lead-acid battery problems destroying industry’s green credentials

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 15:27 -- Paul Crompton
Sub-Saharan Africa’s lead-acid battery problems destroying industry’s green credentials

A damning report about battery recycling in Africa lays waste to the lead-acid industry’s claims that regulations are making it environmentally better and safer than lithium-ion.

The findings, from The Lead Recycling Africa Project, have found lead poisoning is severely under-reported in sub-Saharan Africa, where 800,000 tonnes (8% of annual world production) is made available each year for recycling.

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