Aqua Metals has secured a $10 million loan to build a facility to recycle lead batteries near Reno, Nevada.
The Alameda, California based Aqua Metals received the loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Green Bank to build its first AquaRefinery at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center.
Rather than traditional smelting as a lead battery recycling method, AquaMetals will employ its continuous electrochemical system, called AquaRefining, which it claims is safe and environmentally friendly. The process packages the lead into a brick that can be reused.
The company will produce lead at 80 metric tons per day and then 160 metric tons per day by 2018. The cost of the new facility is estimated at $29.6 million.
Aqua Metals plans to apply the proceeds to expand its lead recycling capacity. Aqua Metals called the traditional smelting process one of the top three most polluting industrial processes in the world, for the planet’s most common type of battery.
Lead-acid batteries have the highest recycling rate of any product sold in the United States with 39 states requiring the retailer take back the used battery when a new battery is purchased.
Published in the December 2015 Edition of American Recycler News