Novel US lead-acid battery-recycling company Aqua Metals has “overcome technical hurdles” and is now making lead ingots at a “steady state”, the company’s president has announced.
Steve Cotton said the firm would be able to ship its “ultra-pure AquaRefined lead directly to battery manufacturers for production— and also allow them to test our AquaRefined lead for improved battery performance and life”.
Cotton’s announcement signalled what the company hopes will be a continuation of a gradual turnaround in its fortunes following a number of setbacks in striving to commercialise a water-based lead-acid recycling process.
“We are now complementing our initial finished product offering of large lead blocks with smaller lead ingots, the preferred lead format for our battery manufacturer customers,” Cotton said.
“We have also made considerable progress increasing the daily utilisation and hourly production rate of our AquaRefining process to near steady state levels while delivering what we believe to be the purest lead produced in America,” Cotton added. “We have achieved production levels of 100 kilogrammes per hour on individual modules operating 20-plus hours per day, resulting in daily production of 2-plus metric tonnes of AquaRefined lead per day on those individual modules.”
Cotton said the company is currently operating one module at a time “until we can recapture and reuse our proprietary electrolyte”. “Our engineers have designed the process and we have procured the equipment that we believe will allow us to recapture this electrolyte, which will greatly improve our contribution margin per metric tonne of lead.”
More details about projects under way will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2018, Cotton said.