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Pilot Installation Complete, Aqua Metals Commences Operations

Aqua Metals Commences Operations of World’s First Sustainable Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling Facility

Aqua Metals has announced it has completed equipment installation and is now operating its first-of-a-kind lithium battery recycling plant in Reno, NV. The advanced recycling system utilizes electricity to recycle instead of intensive chemical processes, fossil fuels, or high-temperature furnaces.

“This is an unprecedented accomplishment for Aqua Metals, and for the global push toward electrification,” said Steve Cotton, President and CEO, Aqua Metals. “We believe that Aqua Metals is the first company to take a vision beyond the laboratory, establishing an industrial-scale, dedicated US-based recycling facility, built to continuously produce metric tons of critical minerals from spent lithium-ion batteries.”

Black mass being loaded into the Li AquaRefining system.

As we prepare for a massive surplus of spent batteries from electric vehicles, devices, and energy storage systems in the coming years, this is a significant milestone for the lithium-ion battery recycling industry – moving from bench-scale to operational, sustainably producing valuable recovered metals and materials.

Read Our Full Press Release Here

Sustainable Battery Recycling to Decarbonize Supply Chains

All equipment at the innovative pilot facility is in place, raw feedstock ‘black mass’ has been introduced, and the minimal waste recycling system is operational.

Aqua Metals Li AquaRefining™ technology is a low-emissions, closed-loop recycling system capable of recovering all valuable metals from spent lithium batteries, including high-purity lithium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel.


Black mass from crushed lithium batteries being loaded into the system.

Li AquaRefining™ utilizes electroplating powered by electricity to recover metals instead of intensive chemical processes or polluting fossil-powered furnaces. Li AquaRefining’s patent-pending process enables low-cost and efficient production of high-purity products critical to the battery industry, drastically lowering emissions and minimizing waste, and designed to significantly reduce capital and operating costs.

“This is a foundational step for Aqua Metals as we begin scaling next year to demonstration capacity and subsequent full-scale commercial operations of what we believe is the world’s cleanest and lowest-cost lithium battery recycling technology,” said Ben Taecker, Aqua Metals’ Chief Engineering and Operating Officer.


The Aqua Metals team at the completion of equipment installation.


Part of the Li AquaRefining equipment during final installation.

We’ll continue to provide updates as the pilot facility achieves new milestones and begins to ramp production!