Lead-acid battery recycling technology company Aqua Metals has signed an agreement with Interstate Batteries that will see the automotive battery distributor send more than 1 million automotive and other lead-acid batteries to be recycled at Aqua Metals’ AquaRefineries. Interstate Batteries will also invest about $10 million into Aqua Metals.
This partnership will start with Aqua Metals’ first AquaRefinery, which will be located in Nevada’s Tahoe-Reno Industrial Complex (TRIC) and is set to open in July. Aqua Metals says it will be the first ever non-polluting lead recycling facility.
Instead of smelting, the most common way to recycle lead, Aqua Metals’ AquaRefining technology uses an electrochemical process. The closed-loop, room temperature, water-based recycling method yields nearly 100 percent lead recovery. Because it uses a water-based process, it eliminates virtually all of the toxic waste issues generated by smelting and is safe for the environment, the company says.
“AquaRefining is almost equivalent to what Cloud computing did to the mainframe computer,” Aqua Metals chief commercial officer Steve Cotton told Waste360. “This process allows us to distribute environmentally safe and clean processing of used batteries, just like the Internet allows us to distribute the processing of information.”
Interstate Batteries has more than 200 dealers recycled more than 24.9 million automotive batteries in 2015, which is more than it sells. In the automotive industry alone, Interstate Batteries sells more than 17 million automotive batteries annually in addition to powering everything including marine and heavy equipment, golf carts, lawn and garden care equipment, data center cloud infrastructure and security systems.
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