Battery producer sees the positive side of recycling

The world’s largest manufacturer of lead-acid batteries has formed a recycling partnership with a cleantech firm. Johnson Controls has agreed to supply Aqua Metals with batteries to recycle and then buy back the metals […]

By Jonny Bairstow

The world’s largest manufacturer of lead-acid batteries has formed a recycling partnership with a cleantech firm.

Johnson Controls has agreed to supply Aqua Metals with batteries to recycle and then buy back the metals produced.

Aqua Metals, which recently opened its first plant in Nevada, uses a water-based, room-temperature electrochemical process to recycle lead, as opposed to high-temperature smelting operations.

This modular system allows the firm to simultaneously improve environmental impact and scale production to meet rapidly growing demand.

As it scales up capacity, Aqua Metals plans to hire hundreds of employees for existing and future operations across the US.

Johnson Controls said it will also acquire nearly 5% of the outstanding shares of Aqua Metals in the deal.

Dr. Stephen Clarke, Chairman and CEO of Aqua Metals, said: “Our partnership with Johnson Controls is a tremendous step forward and is an opportunity for us to work with the global leader in automotive battery manufacturing and responsible recycling.

“We will build on this exciting relationship in order to enable clean and efficient battery recycling around the world.”

A UK firm is among three companies that have been fined a total of €68 million (£58m) for their participation in a car battery recycling cartel.