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AQMS Pilot Plant Update: Plating Cells Installation and More

By David Regan, VP of Commercial

Progress at Aqua Metals’ fully integrated lithium-ion pilot system, located at the company’s Innovation Center in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in Nevada, continues at a rapid pace. Our copper, manganese dioxide, nickel and cobalt plating cells have been installed, as well as a leaching system, precipitation tank, filtration units, and holding tanks. Over the next few weeks we will complete the installation of equipment and begin commissioning, bringing Aqua Metals closer to fruition of the pilot plant for our patented hydrometallurgical AquaRefining™ technology, a closed-loop method that extracts some of the purest metals available from used LiBs. On-site, potential strategic partner visits will commence later this month.

We’re looking forward to completing this process and scaling up operations to deliver on our commitment to providing an innovative, economically viable and environmentally sustainable battery recycling infrastructure that will produce high purity metals and battery grade lithium hydroxide for the battery manufacturing industry. 

This means Aqua Metals remains on track to recover critical minerals from spent lithium-ion batteries and return them into the battery supply chain within the U.S. As a result, Aqua Metals will be well-positioned to support EV and battery manufacturers’ initiatives to meet the tax credit requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which requires 40% of all critical minerals, by value, to be produced in the U.S. by 2023, increasing to 100% by 2029.

Recycling the more than 15 million tons of LiBs that are expected to retire between now and 2030 needs to be done sustainably to meet the carbon reduction objectives that the U.S., EU and major corporations have set for themselves. Recycling also enables the retention of these strategic minerals within the U.S., helping to defend against the at-risk supply chain for lithium-ion battery manufacturing. Aqua Metals is moving swiftly towards the realization of enabling our proven, scalable process that will help make these goals a reality in the LiB marketplace.