AquaMetals has broken ground a $30-million battery recycling plant in Nevada, where Tesla Motors is building its electric battery factory.
The plant will be the world’s first large-scale lead recycling facility that does not require a traditional smelter to reprocess lead batteries. It instead uses a water-based process, which the company says eliminates virtually all of the toxic waste issues generated by smelting.
The facility, on 12.5 acres in Nevada’s Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, will be the company’s first “AquaRefinery.” In addition to eliminating toxic waste, AquaRefining technology is also more efficient and the plant will be less expensive to build than a conventional smelting recycling plant, AquaMetals says.
The US Department of Agriculture guaranteed a $10 million business loan for the Oakland, California-based company to complete the world’s first commercial-scale electro-chemical lead battery and recycling plant, the Associated Press reports.