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Johnson Controls and Aqua Metals sign strategic deal on lead recycling
Feb 13, 2017 10:25CST
Johnson Control as signed a partnership deal with Alameda, thereby becoming the first company to receive license to use Aqua Metal’s cutting edge battery recycling technology.

February 10, 2017 06:50:02 AM

ALBANY (Scrap Monster): Johnson Controls- the world’s largest automotive battery manufacturer has signed a partnership deal with Alameda, California-based Aqua Metals, thereby becoming the first company to receive license to use Aqua Metal’s cutting edge battery recycling technology for extracting lead from old battery plates. In addition, the company press release states that it has decided to take slightly less than 5% stake in Aqua Metals in line with the company’s expansion plans.

As per the agreement, Johnson Control will supply batteries to recycle, as part of the company’s closed-loop network. In return, it will purchase AquaRefined metals produced by Aqua Metals’ various facilities across North America, China and Europe. Also, Johnson Controls will become the first licensee for Aqua Metals’ AquaRefining technology. In addition, the company will acquire nearly 5% outstanding shares of the company worth nearly $11 million.

According to Joe Walicki, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions, the agreement is part of the company’s continuing strategy to invest in clean technologies. Furthermore, it will help the company to build on its commitment to create a sustainable and environmentally responsible industry. The state-of-the-art technology employed by Aqua Metals aligns well with the company’s growth strategy, he added. Incidentally, the company plans to make significant investment of around $50 million during this year across its US facilities, which is expected to lift its production capacity by 10 million units per annum.

Meantime, Stephen Clarke, chairman and CEO of Aqua Metals noted that the exciting partnership with Johnson Controls would help to enable clean and efficient battery recycling around the world. Citing the partnership as a tremendous step forward, Clarke stated that the company looks forward to the opportunity to work with the global leader in automotive battery manufacturing and responsible recycling.

Earlier in November 2016, Aqua Metals had announced first production of 99.99 pure lead from its Bay Area, Nevada battery recycling plant located in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center (TRIC) in McCarran, using AquaRefining technology. The company had claimed that the lead produced was as pure as or even purer than mined lead and that it required no secondary processing.

The AquaRefining technology uses a closed loop water-based process to extract lead from used lead-acid batteries. The process ensures higher product yield and better product at minimized operation cost. Moreover, it eliminates release of toxic waste such as lead dust, sulfur dioxide and greenhouse gases when compared with the traditional smelting process. Unlike smelting process which generates environmentally harmful byproducts and emissions, the electro-chemical process employed by the technology leads to vast reduction of hazardous waste. The collected batteries are fed to a machine which tears them apart, separating the liquid sulfuric acid in tanks and plastic casing. This is converted into pellets and recycled.

Johnson Controls Power Solutions is the world's largest manufacturer of automotive batteries.

Aqua Metals, Inc. engages in the business of recycling lead.


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