US battery recycler Aqua Metals said it plans to develop a five-acre recycling campus after completing due diligence on a property in Tahoe-Reno, Nevada. It will be designed to process more than 20 million pounds of lithium-ion battery material each year.
It said Nevada is the only US state with companies working in every aspect of the lithium battery supply chain, from mining to manufacturing and recycling.
Aqua Metals is planning its state-of-the-art recycling campus in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in the heart of the region’s growing battery ecosystem. It intends to design and develop the campus to sustainably recycle enough critical metals – like lithium hydroxide, nickel, copper and cobalt.
They come from spent lithium batteries to supply the raw materials for manufacturing an average 100,000 EV battery packs every year.
It said it has agreed to acquire the five-acre site and expects to complete the purchase of the new campus, including an existing building, next month. It is subject to customary closing conditions and Aqua Metals’ receipt of the necessary financing.
Its initial plans are to upgrade the current building to install a commercial-scale refining system capable of recycling 3,000 tons of lithium battery black mass each year.
It expects to complete redevelopment of the current space and finalise equipment installation this year. Operations at the new campus will start in Q1 2024.
Aqua Metals intends to fund the purchase of the new property with a non-dilutive loan and has entered into a non-binding letter of intent with a mortgage lender it has worked with in the past to acquire the necessary financing for the property purchase.
Aqua Metals expects to build a second lithium battery recycling facility at the property with capacity to process an additional 6,000 tons of lithium black mass per year.
It works with a closed-loop recycling system based on electroplating, producing high purity metals with electricity instead of polluting furnaces or one-time-use chemical waste of other recycling approaches.
Aqua Metals operates what it believes is the first sustainable lithium battery recycling facility at its nearby Li AquaRefining pilot plant. It plans to power the new commercial-scale campus using on-site renewable energy and purchase additional carbon-free energy to match its usage and overall carbon impact.